JAMES ARROL ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR WRITES ON ABOLITION OF UKBA
Theresa May announces the abolition of the UK Border Agency, but what does it mean for our clients? A report released yesterday detailed that UKBA was not fit for purpose and opined astonishment that the former head had been moved to head up HMRC – all after overseeing a huge backlog of immigration cases.
Frankly it makes you wonder what state HMRC will be in, a few years from now and seems to enforce the image that the only way to get rid of a civil servant is to promote them. I digress however!
So after 6 years of the Home Affairs Committee being fed misinformation about the extent of the crisis, what does the announcement today mean for our clients? Two new bodies are going to be created to replace the current UKBA system. One will deal with applications and the other will deal with immigration enforcement and both will come under the umbrella of the Home Office. It is hoped that the change will allow the immigration system to be modernised and break up the previously draconian way in which applications were treated.
So for those of you sitting waiting on immigration decisions or contemplating applying is this going to mean your decision will be given quicker or treated with more respect? It seems less than likely, apparently there is a backlog of 320,000 cases which it is estimated will take 24 years to clear, yes that was not typo, TWENTY FOUR YEARS!
Perhaps more worrying is that practically the same shameful backlog was revealed in 2007 and was exactly the reason why UKBA was set up. At the same time we understand that the staff at UKBA have been advised that they will be doing the same job for the same bosses. Not great.
Maybe this time the government will get things right and immigration decisions will be given in a timely fashion, based on the proper evidence and law submitted by the applicants and not for some of the spurious decisions we have encountered over the last few years.
Either way it is business as usual for us at Aamer Anwar and Co. Come and see us and we can help give you the best chance of success in your application, we will also vigorously pursue a decision in your case in a timely fashion, despite the backlog!