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Further 16,000 immigration application backlog going back 10 years discovered by Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration | Immigration Matters

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Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine says migrants making applications and paying substantial fees to the UKBA deserve a better service.

Another backlog of 16,000 immigration cases has been discovered by the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration John Vine, as part of an inquiry into applications enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage.

Mr Vine told the media: “I think what’s really important is that management of Border Agency and Border Force does its own homework and knows what demands it has on its own operation.”

He added that the backlog would not only burden an “already burdened organisation,” but it would also impact on the people who had put their “lives on hold pending applications”.

“They deserve a better service,” he said.

But Immigration Minister Mark Harper argued that the cases had not been forgotten about and that 14,000 of the so called backlog were refusal cases where applicants had asked for a reconsideration.  

Harper said the UKBA should have said “No” to a review of the case and then referred applicants to the appeal process.

“I’m not going to pretend it’s perfect,” he said. “We inherited an agency with a lot of problems.

“We have put in place a new chief executive, we have got strength in the management team. He is getting it in shape.

“We are making progress and we have dealt with a lot of the inheritance that we had two and a half years ago.”

However, Vine has discovered a  new backlog which includes more than 2,000 cases dumped in boxes while applicants waited up to 10 years for a decision.

Immigration Matters has received emails from clients who claim they have waited up to 11 years for a decision, which seems consistent with the Chief Inspector’s report.

Meanwhile, Capita, the private firm contracted to hunt down 150,000 overstayers, has firing off thousands of text messages and letters asking people to leave the UK.

If you have been detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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2 Responses to “Further 16,000 immigration application backlog going back 10 years discovered by Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration”
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  1. […] Further 16,000 immigration application backlog going back 10 years discovered by Chief Inspector of … […]

  2. Paul Henry says :

    What is also shocking is the time that foreign diplomatic posts now take to reassess appeals referred to them by First-tier Tribunal before going to a court hearing.

    In many cases, the diplomatic post could take a few minutes to check through previously missing documents and issue a visa, as they used to do.

    Instead, they now make applicants wait months … because they can.

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