18th November 2012
Outstanding backlog of immigration cases
Figures have recently been released suggesting that there is still a backlog of 300,000 immigration and asylum cases at the UKBA according to Rachel Harvey, immigration specialist at Cartwright King.
This follows a cross party report into the work of the UKBA which is highly critical of the agency and has highlighted serious failings.
“This really comes as no surprise.”
“Although the report focuses on those refused asylum and those with no lawful basis on which to be in the UK, the actions of the UKBA have a far wider reaching effect. Time and time again the UKBA are refusing genuine cases rather than concentrating on the backlog.”
Often when cases are refused, there is no right of appeal and as such the only thing left is for representations to be made but many of these remain outstanding for years and years. In the case of one local enforcement unit, they are taking approximately 18 months to reply to one letter.
Such delays have a devastating effect on the lives on genuine people who have to wait for several months for their applications to be dealt with. It can often result in them losing their jobs. There have also been cases of weddings having to be cancelled or people not being able to see a sick or dying relative because their passports are being held by the UKBA.
At the same time there are cases of people wanting to leave the UK as they no longer want to remain here but are unable to do so because the UKBA has failed to return the passports, forcing people to remain here for far longer than necessary.
“The UKBA needs to improve communication between their offices and with solicitors representing clients.”
“Often we find that a phone call to us could prevent delays, refusals and paperwork for the UKBA and help the UKBA operate more efficiently.”