The Home Office is currently facing an investigation by a complaints watchdog after it failed to respond to complaints about an incompetent and unfair outsourced visa service. The parliamentary ombudsman have now chosen to escalate a complaint by VFS Global, which was to help with managing visas. The complaint was issued after the company gave an Australian man incorrect information on how to submit his request for a UK work permit.
Officials have said that a formal investigation will now be launched into the issue unless the Home Office responds to requests for information. Unfortunately, all requests for details on how UK visas have been handled by outsourced companies have been ignored so far.
UK immigration lawyers have said that this case highlights a lack of accountability over the poor service that has been offered through the UK work permit subcontracting deal.
Subcontracted businesses were intended to take some of the strain off the Home Office and help immigrants get their tier 2 work permits and other UK visas more quickly. However, since the arrangements were first established in 2014, the departments have been deluged with regular complaints.
Many people believe that the contracted businesses have been exploiting vulnerable visa applicants for profit. This belief increased when the Independent newspaper showed that the Home Office had made £1.6 billion from people applying for visas. This profit is a nine times increase on the five years before the contract began.
Unless the Home Office has a legal basis for withholding information about the strategies used for helping immigrants with their UK visas, then it’s failure to provide details will be seen as a breach of the law. While the Home Office has revealed that it is aware of the current complaints against it, and its inability to offer reliable solutions for UK work permit applications, it refused to comment on the upcoming investigation.