16 December 2008
UK Home Office signs up IBM
The UK Border Agency has signed IBM to be the provider of a new IT system for its Immigration Case Work (ICW) Program, reports Yahoo Finance News.
IBM will now be the Strategic Systems Integration Partner as part of a three-year contract, and will provide consulting and systems integration services as well as design of a new IT system for the processing of UK visas.
The partnership is expected to streamline the UK visa processing for prospective migrants, and is part of a massive overhaul of the UK immigration system. This year, the Home Office has gradually introduced a new 5-tiered system for immigration, based on the Australian points-based system. The Home Office also made mandatory identity cards containing the biometric information of foreign nationals living, working and studying in Britain on Tuesday 25 November.
Head of Immigration at the UKBA, Matthew Coats, said, "I am delighted that IBM has been appointed as systems integrator for the ICW program. I look forward to working together to deliver a first class case working capability. The ICW program is integral to our work as we carry out the biggest shake up of the immigration system for a generation. It will help us to make fast and fair decisions and manage migration for the benefit of the British public."
The ICW Program is not the only information technology upgrade the Border Agency made this year for the new UK immigration system; in August the Home Office kick-started a £650 million e-Borders project to allow authorities to track almost all non-European nationals arriving in the UK by 2010.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.
Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.