26 September 2012

Criminal UK visa agents operating in Asia

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The UK Border Agency has issued a statement warning unsuspecting people of criminals purporting to be licensed to process UK visa applications.

UK immigration

The UKBA has warned of criminals posing as UKBA staff to con people.

The unscrupulous 'agents', who are reportedly claiming to be affiliated with the UKBA or VFS Global, the UKBA's commercial partner, are thought to be operating mainly in Thailand and Vietnam, offering to process UK visa applications for extortionate sums of money.

A spokesperson for the UKBA said anyone looking to move to the UK should be aware of such scams and remain as vigilante as possible to avoid falling victim and possibly losing large sums of money.

"When submitting visa applications you should ensure that you are dealing with a genuine employee of VFS or UK Border Agency staff," said the spokesperson.

"You should note that you will not be asked to pay money to book an appointment with the visa application centre and you will receive an official receipt for payment of your visa fee and any other additional services requested.

"You will not be asked to forward any additional payment after your visa application has been submitted. The UK Border Agency and VFS Global can take no responsibility for events which take place outside their offices."

Marissa Murdock, casework manager at the UK Visa Bureau, says migration is such a typical industry for exploitation.

"A lot of victims of these schemes are understandably unfamiliar with working processes and bureaucracy in the new country and this leaves them open to lies and extortion," said Ms Murdock.

"If you're looking to move to the UK, make sure you check the credentials of anyone offering to help you thoroughly."

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

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