Following requests made under Freedom of Information laws by The Guardian newspaper, the newspaper found that Presenting Officers are being rewarded with gift vouchers, cash bonuses and extra holidays for meeting targets to ensure asylum seekers fail to stay in the UK. Official guidance obtained by The Guardian shows that immigration staff have been set a target of winning 70% of tribunal cases in which asylum seekers are appealing against government decisions that they should leave the UK.
UK Immigration Officers Incentivised by Home Office
Information obtained by The Guardian shows that Home Office presenting officers and case owners in the fields of immigration and asylum were given £25 or £50 to “recognise positive performance over a short period of time,” including when officers “exceed their casework targets for a month.”
Despite the Home Office revealing how many vouchers in total had been given out to staff, a parliamentary answer revealed that since July 2012, 11 high street shopping vouchers for £25 had been given out solely to presenting officers in asylum cases.
Home Office’s Incentives “Undermine” System of Fairness
Liberal Democrats MP Sarah Teather, criticised the Home Office and said schemes such as this one “completely undermine any sense that the system will give a fair hearing to those who come here seeking sanctuary from war and persecution.”
Immigration Minister Mark Harper, dismissed these claims and stated that presenting officers performance was assessed “equally by reference to other relevant factors that include the quality of preparation and advocacy.” However, we note that the presenting officers unit have not as of yet commented on this matter.
2013 Statistics from Detention Action: 99% of ‘Fast Track’ Applications Refused
Many people arriving in the UK are detained from the minute after they claim asylum in the UK. Their entire asylum claim is processed while they are locked in a high security immigration detention centre. This system is called the ‘Detained Fast Track’.
According to research conducted by Detention Action, 99% of people on “fast track” asylum applications failed. Often there is no time for applicants to get evidence from their home country because they are only given a few days to appeal the decision.
Contact us for a successful Asylum application
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a telephone consultation even if you wish to consider other advisers.
Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.
Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.