Visa staff ‘unfair to Africans’
Visa control staff handling applicants from Africa are “acting unfairly” by wrongly refusing them entry to the UK, an independent report has found.
The UK Border Agency’s chief inspector said a large number of cases had seen visas rejected incorrectly after evidence was “disregarded or misinterpreted” by staff.
John Vine said visa applicants were being turned down for failing to provide information which had not been requested from them during the application process.
Staff at the UK Embassy in Algeria claimed delays in processing visas had caused “reputational damage” to the UK, Mr Vine said.
The UKBA was also accused of making a “serious error” after a review of 135 visa applications from Nigeria found 14 cases had mistakenly received “indefinite leave to enter the UK”, instead of the usual 27-month limit.
The agency said it took Mr Vine’s findings “seriously” and vowed to improve training for staff handling visa applications.
His inspection took place between May and July last year and looked at four UKBA posts in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Croydon, south London, which deals with applications made in Algeria.
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