Report finds unfair rejections in UK visa cases

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 15 June 2012

The report, carried out by Chief Inspector to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) John Vine, said many UK visa applications were rejected after officers either 'disregarded or misinterpreted' supporting evidence.

Conducted between May and July of last year, Mr Vine examined applications handled at UKBA officers in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and London. The report detailed claims that embassy staff in Algeria, whose applications are handled at London's Croydon office, said visa delays caused 'reputational damage' to the UK.

The report detailed an applicant being denied permission to visit his Britain-based uncle because they had different surnames as well as several instances of the UKBA failing to retain documents which were used to justify their decisions.

Mr Vine said several of the errors his inspection found had been reported in previous inspections and he was frustrated these recommendations had not been implemented.

"This is especially frustrated considering the agency has accepted the recommendations, and yet I continue to identify the same issues," said Mr Vine.

"I would not like to see these recommendations being embraced by the agency without delay to ensure that there is a real improvement in the quality and consistency of decision making."

A spokesperson for the UKBA said they were taking Mr Vine's findings seriously and were making improving UK immigration processes a priority.

"We take the independent chief inspector's findings seriously and are making reforms, which include providing detailed guidance to applicants and improving the training for staff handling visa applications," said the spokesperson.

"The UKBA must offer a high quality service for genuine applicants while ensuring that those who do not meet the immigration rules are prevented from entering the UK."

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