Error rate still 'too high' in UK visa decisions

19 Dec 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The error rate among the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) decision making process regarding UK visas is still too high.

This is according to the agency's Chief Inspector, John Vine, who has recently published his third annual report as the Independent Chief Inspector of the UKBA.

Mr Vine's latest report looks at the period between October 2010 and October 2011 and found four key areas in which the UK immigration service needs to improve.

These are getting more UK visa decisions right first time, adopting a consistent approach, making full use of powers to enforce the law and using intelligence to prevent and detect UK immigration and customs offences.

However, the Tier 2 UK work permit visa applications system was praised for getting processing applications in time, clearing backlogs and improving the speed of performance while maintaining the quality of decision making.

In terms of consistency, the inspector highlighted the fact that officers tended to take a different approach to UK visa applications depending on where the applicant originated from.

For example, those from Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai were treated differently to those from Pakistan, who were often refused entry clearance for failing to provide information which was not made clear to them at the time of application.

Mr Vine commented: “This year has been extremely busy for the inspectorate - we have delivered a full programme of work against an ambitious inspection plan and increased the breadth and depth of our examination of the UK Border Agency.”

He added that he would also like to see change within the agency take place at a faster rate.