UKBA Fails to Follow Up Tip-Offs on Illegal Immigration

UKBA Fails to Follow Up Tip-Offs on Illegal Immigration

It has been revealed today that UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs from the public about overseas students exceeding the terms of their visas.

Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine has discovered that the UK Border Agency has allowed a backlog of 153,000 reports from sponsors of foreign students requiring visas to amass, including reports from the students colleges clearly stating that the students had enrolled on courses but were not turning up for classes.

John Vine’s team examined work at three UKBA offices in Sheffield, Beijing and Delhi and in his report found: “The agency had no targets in place for responding to notifications made using the Sponsor Management System. As a result, notifications of changes to circumstances of students, details of students failing to enrol or attend classes, or curtailment of sponsorship were not being acted upon. Over 150,000 notifications had accumulated and were awaiting action, meaning that potentially thousands of students had retained leave to remain when they should not have done so. This was a significant failure.”

In an effort to repair some of the damage caused to the UKBA’s reputation, Mr Vine went on to say: “I was pleased to note that in May 2012 the agency had reviewed outstanding sponsor notifications and launched an operation to identify and remove people, including students, who had overstayed beyond the term of their visa. This should be an ongoing priority rather than the subject of a one-off operation by the agency.”