19 December 2011

Concern expressed over UK visa grant inconsistencies

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It was recently revealed that approx. 60% of UK family visa refusals made at the UK Border Agency (UKBA) New York office were overturned by managers, with concern raised over whether these applications were properly scrutinised before being granted.

UK visa

Approx. 60% of UK family visa refusals made at the UKBA New York office were overturned by managers.

The report comes from inspectors who have been investigating the UK Border Agency (UKBA) New York office that grants UK visa  applications made from the Americas

The problems were found in a review of the New York visa section's work for the 2010/11 financial year up to the end of February 2011. Refusals in 63% of family visit visa cases and 35% of settlement visa cases were overturned by a manager, inspectors found.

In their report, they said: "This prevented a significant number of cases from going to appeal as the original decisions were overturned.

"We were somewhat concerned that the percentage of cases where the original decision was overturned was so high and we found that no analysis had been carried out to determine any reasons for this, or if the original decisions made were of sufficiently high quality."

John Vine, the chief inspector of the UKBA, expressed concern over inconsistencies, saying he had "concerns about the lack of transparency in the UK Border Agency's inconsistent approach to evidential requirements".

"It is imperative that the agency ensures that its staff adopts a 'right first time' approach and makes correct and robust decisions," he said. "I found a high percentage of cases where the original decision was overturned before cases were allowed to proceed to appeal. This concerned me, as the agency had not conducted any analysis to establish whether or not the original decisions had been correctly made." 


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent UK immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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