18 May 2009

UK immigration advisers have industry tightened

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UK immigration advisers will have tougher restrictions so that bogus advisers can be flushed out of the system and no longer take advantage of UK visa applicants trying to migrate to the UK.

The Home Office has said that they would clean up the UK immigration system so that the instances of poor immigration advice and false or incorrect UK visa applications can be reduced to a bare minimum.

The Home Office plans to strengthen the rights of authorities to inspect UK immigration advisers and introduce "yellow cards" to those immigration agents who are lodging any UK visa application that is not up to scratch.  Further, any agent who provides illegal UK immigration advice will have their rights to work as an immigration adviser restricted.

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said that the consultation would hopefully result in ensuring that people moving to the UK are better protected from unscrupulous agents whose aim it is to take advantage of the UK immigration system.

"Any abuse of our immigration laws will not be tolerated. Attempts to frustrate the system cost the taxpayer money and make it more difficult for people who genuinely need our protection," Woolas said in a statement.

"Those responsible will be investigated and prosecuted. The OISC [Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner] has already undertaken over 75 successful prosecutions, but we need to help them to take tough action earlier."

OISC Commissioner Suzanne McCarthy said that the OISC has already been successful in ensuring the level of immigration advice provided in Britain is of a high calibre.

"The OISC has already created a successful regulatory system and raised the standard of immigration advice available.

"If these proposals are implemented it will allow the OISC to give greater protection to individuals from unscrupulous advisers and protect the immigration system from abuse. Good immigration is in everyone's interest. Bad advice ruins lives," McCarthy said in a statement through the Home Office.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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