Immigration office criticised over delays

23 Jun 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Delays and poor decision-making by staff processing enquiries from people seeking UK visas have been criticised by the chief inspector of borders and immigration.

John Vine is concerned about the length of time it is taking to handle public enquiries at the office in Glasgow. His report into the delays pointed to issues over the way applications are handled and found that in many cases, people who were refused UK visas were not notified. That meant they were remaining in the UK longer than they should, because they were not aware that their applications had been turned down, the BBC reported.

The critical report is based on the findings of an inspection carried out at the end of last year.

Although customer service at the office was found to be good, the report said there were issues with the way decisions were made. This had resulted in a backlog of cases waiting to be dealt with.

The inspection also concluded that new working practices at the office had been ‘poorly implemented’ and staff had not been fully trained for their new responsibilities under the new model.

In the report, Mr Vine said: "This resulted in some applicants waiting many months for a decision, even though it had been decided that their applications would be refused."

The Home Office said that an ‘extensive’ training programme has now been launched for staff and it is recruiting new team members to strengthen the service.

A spokesman said: "We have already taken steps to address the concerns raised in this report and will continue to strive for excellence in this area."