Largest UK visa application scam uncovered by gov't

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 07 May 2009

A racket involving three Indian illegal immigrants have been submitting hundreds of UK visa applications to the Government that have been supported by fraudulent documentation including fake qualifications, references and resumes.

The ringleader of the covert operations Jatinder Sharma has pleaded guilty to a number of immigration offences, while the accomplices Neelam Sharma and Rakhi Shahi (both married to Jatinda) are also facing a similar barrage of charges.

The trip are accused of running an illegal service through a legitimate company called UniVisa, which provided up to 1,000 UK visa applications with falsified documentation between October 2006 to May 2008.  It is expected that the racket profited hundreds of thousands of pounds while the taxpayer has been left to support hundreds of unskilled migrants who cannot work the skills they purported on their applications.

"Between them they submitted the largest number of fraudulent visa applications ever received by the home office from one source, making this the biggest immigration scam ever seen in this country," The Times of India reported prosecution lawyer Francis Sheridan as saying.

"Applicants with humble backgrounds found themselves in possession of degrees, masters degrees, post-graduate qualifications and diplomas within a matter of months," he said.

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