Category Archives: UKBA LATEST NEWS

Delay in processing settlement visa applications

The UK Border Agency in Thailand is currently experiencing a large volume of visa applications. As a result we are currently processing settlement visa applications outside our customer service target of 95% of settlement applications within 12 weeks.

Until further notice, settlement applicants can expect to wait up to 15 weeks for a visa decision. During this time we ask that you do not contact our visa information service or the British Embassy to enquire about the status of your application (unless it is a genuine emergency) as we will not be able to provide further information.

We are currently working on our resourcing to reduce processing times and will provide an update on this website in due course. We apologise for any inconvenience.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Four illegal workers arrested in Buckie restaurant

A restaurant in Buckie was found employing four illegal workers during a UK Border Agency operation.

Acting on intelligence, officers targeted the China Town Restaurant on West Church Street, Buckie, on Thursday 14 February 2013. After the immigration statuses of staff were checked, two Chinese men aged 41 and 26, along with a 42-year-old Chinese woman and a 45-year-old Malaysian man, were found to be working illegally. All four are currently in detention, pending their removal from the UK.

The business will be served with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers. If the owners are unable to provide evidence that legally required checks were carried out before giving the workers a job – such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document – a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker will be imposed.

Adam Scarcliffe, of the UK Border Agency said:

‘Foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should be in no doubt that they will be found, arrested and removed from the UK.

Employing illegal workers undercuts honest businesses and defrauds the public purse. There is no excuse for using illegal labour, and if businesses ignore our immigration laws, they face heavy fines.’

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which have failed to carry out legally-required checks on their staff.

Prime Minister announces super priority visa service in India

The Prime Minister has announced details of a super priority visa service which will allow frequent travellers from India to have their visas processed in just one day.

The new scheme begins in March and will be available at application centres in Delhi and Mumbai. It has been set up following feedback from prominent Indian businesses and will run alongside the current priority and standard visa services.

It is easier than ever before for Indian nationals to apply for a visa, with UKBA operating 12 visa application centres across India, more application centres than any other country.

This service does not replace the process for expediting visas on compassionate grounds.

Pre-entry tuberculosis testing in the Philippines will start on 28 February 2013

From 28 February 2013, tuberculosis testing requirements will form part of the visa application process for people planning to come to the UK for more than 6 months.

This follows the UK government’s announcement in May 2012, to introduce tuberculosis testing as a requirement of the visa application process for certain countries. The Philippines is one of the 67 countries, who according to the World Health Organisation have a high incidence of tuberculosis.

If you submit an online visa application form and pay the visa application fee online before 28 February 2013, you will not need to take a tuberculosis test. All online applications submitted and paid for on or after 28 February 2013 will be subject to tuberculosis testing requirements, if you plan to go to the UK for 6 months or longer.

For detailed information about the testing process and requirements, see the TB testing page.

You do not need a tuberculosis test if you plan on travelling to the UK for less than 6 months, for example on business or for tourism.

Two arrested in raid on West London bookmaker

Two illegal workers have been arrested following a raid by our officers on a bookmaker in Shepherd’s Bush.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Paddy Power shop on Goldhawk Road on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 February, where they carried out checks on staff to see if they had the right to work in the UK.

They arrested 2 men, a 28-year-old Indian and a 33-year-old Sri Lankan who were both working in breach of their visa conditions.

The men were detained pending their removal from the UK.

The business was warned that it will face a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless proof can be provided to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out on the pair.

Sarah Burton, assistant director, UK Border Agency said:

‘My officers are carrying out operations like this almost every day, and for those who are in living and working in the country illegally there is no hiding place.

‘We are also targeting employers who fail to carry out the correct checks on their staff.

‘The UK Border Agency is happy to work with employers to help them make sure they know what needs to be done, but those who flout the rules could face big fines.’

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out proper right-to-work checks on staff.

Bradford illegal worker arrested after hiding under shop floor

UK Border Agency officers got more than they bargained for when they raided a clothing shop in Bradford – an under floor search for an illegal worker attempting to evade capture.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited Janan Clothing, Shearbridge Road, on Sunday 10 February following allegations that a security guard was working there illegally.

After trying for an hour to enter the building without success officers covering back exits noticed a light being turned off, confirming suspicions somebody was hiding inside. The owner was contacted who let the team into the building.

Further investigations revealed the man they had come to arrest – a 24-year-old Pakistani – was hiding between floor boards and the foundations of the building. He remained there despite verbal commands to come out in both English and Urdu.

Eventually two immigration officers entered the void space, which was around five feet wide and two and half feet high, and crawled for nearly two minutes until they found the man hiding next to a wall.

After establishing he was not armed they led him out of the void before arresting him. He had overstayed his visa and was placed in immigration detention while the UK Border Agency progresses his case.

The business was served a notice warning a penalty of up to £10,000 will be imposed unless proof is provided to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Ian Milner, from the UK Border Agency, said:

‘This was an unusual operation and shows the lengths to which some people will go to try to avoid detection by our officers.

‘But thanks to the patience and determination of the two officers who entered the void, we were able to arrest this individual.

‘Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

‘We carry out regular operations such as this across the region. We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy financial penalties.’