10:12 pm, Sat 29 Dec 2012
Immigration 'set to rise again'
UKBA to conduct interviews with student-visa applicants from "high-risk" countries.
Net migration will begin to rise again in less than two years as the Government runs out of options for restricting the number of foreign nationals entering the UK, a leading think-tank has warned.
While net migration is forecast to fall to 140,000 next year, from around 180,000 at the end of last March, it is likely to rise again in 2014, the Institute for Public Policy Research said.
The decline in net migration will be driven by lower numbers of international students from outside the EU, but this is likely to be short-lived, the IPPR said.
A crackdown on foreign students will see UK Border Agency conduct interviews with student-visa applicants from "high-risk" countries.
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
2:59 am, Thu 22 Nov 2012 UKBA's 'backlog of 100k letters'
UK Border Agency condemned over immigration backlog
UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff dealt with a backlog of immigration cases so inefficiently that at one point 100,000 pieces of post were unopened, a report said today.
UKBA have been condemned for a backlog of immigration cases
Credit: PA Wire
Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine found that security checks were not properly carried out on old cases and that workers had failed to check the records of other Government departments.
Applications were placed into an archive of unresolved cases after "very minimal work", despite the agency assuring MPs that "exhaustive" checks had been carried out, he concluded.
1:48 pm, Mon 23 Jul 2012 UK Border Agency backlog
Prime Minister not considering immigration amnesty
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said:
The report raises legitimate concerns about the backlog of outstanding cases. We are aware of that problem. It is something we are already trying to tackle.
The report itself acknowledges that we have started to address some of these problems.
Asked whether there might be an amnesty for people in the backlog, the spokesman said: "That is not something we are considering."