3:00 am, Thu 24 Jan 2013 Immigration backlog 'chaos'
UK border control is 'failing to check' applications
An investigation into UK border control has found that 16,000 migrants are currently waiting to hear whether they can stay in Britain.
2,100 cases were yet to receive an initial decision as to whether they could stay in the UK or not, some dating back to 2003
180 of these applicants wanted to stay for marriage or civil partnership reasons
The UK Border Agency is failing to check whether applicants earn enough to live without state handouts
Staff are not consistently applying the "income support threshold" rule to applicants who want to stay in the UK due to marriage
The percentage of allowed marriage appeals in total was too high at over 50 per cent April 2011 and February 2012
Problems with the agency failing to take into account the rights of children when refusing further leave in the UK were also discovered
2:30 am, Thu 24 Jan 2013 Immigration backlog 'chaos'
'This situation causes anxiety, uncertainty and frustration'
Sixteen thousand migrants are currently waiting to hear whether they can remain in the UK, according to an independent investigation into UK border controls.
This situation causes anxiety, uncertainty and frustration for those individuals and their family members.
Delays in deciding applications also mean that enforcement action is likely to be more difficult in the event that the case is ultimately refused.
This is because the individual will have been in the UK for a number of years and may have developed a family or private life.
– John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration
2:05 am, Thu 24 Jan 2013 Immigration backlog 'chaos'
Immigration inspectors find backlog of 16,000 migrants
An investigation into UK border controls has revealed that more than 16,000 immigrants are waiting to hear whether they can stay in Britain.
The number of applicants is growing at a rate of 700 a month, with around 14,000 already refused the right to stay.
Some people have been waiting 'considerable periods of time' for cases to be resolved
Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration John Vine discovered the backlogs as part of an inquiry into applications to remain in Britain on the basis of marriage.
Mr Vine said: "We are concerned that this backlog of cases has been allowed to develop. As a result, some applicants have been waiting for considerable periods of time for their cases to be resolved."
12:05 pm, Fri 14 Dec 2012
Thirty-one stowaways found in lorries at Port of Calais
UK Border Control search a lorry trailer for stowaway passengers at Calais Ferry Port in France. Picture date: Monday June 6, 2011.
Thirty-one stowaways had their hopes of entering the UK shattered after border officials found them hidden inside four UK-bound lorries at the Port of Calais.
A sniffer dog indicated there were people inside a Peterborough-bound Turkish-registered lorry and 12 Albanians were found among the cargo.
Officers using heartbeat monitors also discovered six Afghans hidden in a Polish-registered vehicle which was heading to Accrington, Lancashire, with its load of sofas.
A detector dog also led officers to find six Albanians hidden among nappies on a Czech-registered lorry bound for Lincolnshire.
The fourth discovery was in an Irish-registered lorry heading to the Republic of Ireland. A dog led officers to find seven people on board - three from Iran, two from Pakistan, one from Afghanistan and a Syrian.
All the stowaways were handed over to French border police.
4:22 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
Home Office vows to transform UKBA
We have known for some time that UKBA is a troubled organisation with a poor record of delivery.
Turning the agency around will take time, but we are making progress. The Border Force is now an independent organisation and its performance is improving.
And UKBA has a transformation plan that will put the agency on a surer footing.
A new performance and compliance unit has been created to provide assurance that information and data that is routinely published by the agency is robust and reliable.
The Home Secretary will invite John Vine as part of his future inspection plan to inspect the audit and assurance mechanisms of the agency.
– A Home Office spokesman
4:09 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
Keith Vaz warned UKBA backlog was 'spiralling out of control'
The damning report follows comments by the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, earlier this month.
Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz
Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive
Mr Vaz said the number of unresolved cases that UKBA is dealing with - more than 300,000 - is "spiralling out of control".
He said: "There are now about the same number of cases awaiting resolution by UKBA as there are people living in Iceland."
4:02 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
UKBA urged to resolve backlog
Chief inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine has made the following recommendations to the UK Border Agency:
Routine checks against police records.
Ensuring that accurate information is given to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Making a public commitment to resolve the backlog within a certain timeframe
3:45 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
Chief inspector issues damning report on UK Border Agency
Chief inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine was asked to evaluate how well UKBA had handled the backlog of thousands of unresolved immigration cases.
Chief inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine
Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive
Mr Vine said he believed little had been done to try to resolve the cases before they were passed over.
He said: "Through the inefficiency and delay of the agency, those who would otherwise have faced removal will have accrued rights to remain in the UK."
Mr Vine also criticised "poor" customer service, and said that a lack of resources meant that deadlines were often missed, even when legal action was threatened.
The report said: "The issue of limited resources also created a significant impediment to case clearance.
"As a result, timescales given to applicants or their representatives about the resolution of cases were frequently missed, even where litigation was being threatened."
3:15 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
Immigration chiefs accused of misleading Parliament
An examination of controlled archive cases showed that the security checks - which the agency stated were being done on these cases - had not been undertaken routinely or consistently since April 2011.
I also found that no thorough comparison of data from controlled archive cases was undertaken with other Government departments or financial institutions in order to trace applicants until April 2012.
This was unacceptable and at odds with the assurances given to the Home Affairs Select Committee that 124,000 cases were only archived after 'exhaustive checks' to trace the applicant had been made.
– Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine