Inspection Report published for UK immigration visa processing in New York

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

A recent report from the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), John Vine, looked at UK visas processing in New York. According to the report, more than three in five decisions to refuse family visas to those wanting to come to the UK from New York were overturned by managers before going to appeal.

The inspection focused on the UK immigration's handling of three separate visa categories: Family Visitor, Other Visitor and Settlement. At the time of inspection, between January and March 2011, the report states the Chief Inspector noted that "It is imperative that the agency ensures that its staff adopts a 'right first time' approach and makes correct and robust decisions."

"I found a high percentage of cases where the original decision was overturned before cases were allowed to proceed to appeal," Vine said. "This concerned me, as the agency had not conducted any analysis to establish whether or not the original decisions had been correctly made."

The Chief Inspector added that he had "concerns about the lack of transparency in the UK Border Agency's inconsistent approach to evidential requirements". He noted in some circumstances, UK visa applicants might be refused because of the additional evidential requirements, which weren't included in the UKBA's published guidance.

However Vine also said he "was impressed with the strong customer service ethos and commitment to providing high levels of customer care exhibited by managers and staff in New York. This was demonstrated by their recent success in being awarded accreditation in the government's Customer Service Excellence standard".

The report published several recommendations for UK immigration:
  • UK immigration should provide applicants with clear information and guidance about the requirements for UK visas in advance of their application; and
  • ensure that when applicants have followed published guidance, but Entry Clearance Officers require further information to make a decision, applicants are given an opportunity to provide this.
If you would like to apply for a UK visa can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with over twenty years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.