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Immigration delays at Heathrow ‘damaging UK economy’ say BAA | Immigration Matters

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Airport chiefs this week condemned border delays of an hour-and-a-half at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) as “unacceptable” amid warnings that they are damaging London’s economy.

BAA, which has invested billions in improving Heathrow, launched a stinging attack on the UK Border Agency for lengthy queues at peak times.

MPs and peers criticised the delays, which are angering business executives as well as leisure travellers arriving at the airport.

Business chiefs demanded tougher targets for immigration officials and stringent checks that they are being met before the Olympics.

BAA blamed the UK’s immigration authorities for the delays. A spokesman said: “We have raised the issue of immigration queues on a number of occasions. Immigration waiting times during peak periods at Heathrow are currently unacceptable.”

Baroness Kramer, the former MP for Richmond Park, said: “Perhaps the UK Border Agency could change its policy so that people with non-UK passports can get through in less than one-and-a-half hours.”

Baroness Valentine, chief executive of business group London First, said it “simply isn’t good enough to have two-hour delays to get into the UK”, adding: “The UK Border Agency should have tougher targets and be required to meet them, particularly ahead of the Olympics.”

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle added: “It is bad for our reputation and does nothing to help us attract business and investment.”

Immigration minister Damian Green insisted that the UK Border Agency had met its target to clear 95 per cent of non-EU passengers within 45 minutes in the first six months of the year.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “It is important to balance this against the need to protect our borders and exercise border control. Higher passenger volumes over the summer inevitably result in slightly longer waiting times.” Source: Evening Standard

Have you been unnecessarily delayed at a UK airport? Make your comment below.

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New Tier 4 sponsor guidance published for Highly Trusted Sponsorship – will your private college qualify?

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit 

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email 


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3 Responses to “Immigration delays at Heathrow ‘damaging UK economy’ say BAA”
Read them below or add one

  1. She met the ‘welcoming committee’ then? Sorry, but this sort of thing is quite normal and happens every day to thousands of migrants, students and visitors. Most Brits do not realise what foreigners go through just to get into the UK. An immigration officer has the right to ask questions and refuse entry, regardless of the fact that a person may have a visa.

  2. Anthony Penny says :

    I am a sponsoring British National. My Philippine partner of 5 years arrived at 7:30pm in Heathrow. It was almost 10PM before she finally emerged from the arrivals gate having been subjected to a 1 hour immigration interrogation that was almost abusive. We already satisfied the requirements for her 5 year visitors Visa so why was this unpleasant ritual necessary?

  3. David Malani says :

    It is all rubish, someone should tell these people that,
    it is not foreigners that are creating problems for their
    society. The system is now becoming so complicated that
    people no longer want to come to Britain.
    The humiliation by some of their rude border agency officials is now getting out of hand.
    Why are they calling themselves Great Britain when they
    keep on bringing all sorts of hardship to foeigners. Foreigners are responsible even if there is a problem between husband and wife now.

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