In a report published last week, John Vine, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, has criticised the way the Home Office has handled the backlog of immigration cases. His report concentrated in particular on the way Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Investor visa applications were processed. John Vine’s inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Home Office’s handling of applications made to enter and remain in the UK under these categories of the Points Based System with a particular focus on the consistency and quality of decisions.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur & Tier 1 Investor Visa Applications Examined
During the financial year 2011-2012, there were 1,682 entrepreneur and 594 investor visa applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK.
The report found that although most decisions on investor visas were reasonable (91%) and the Home Office carried out all security checks and tackled fraudulent Tier 1 applications, poor record keeping meant that almost half of the decisions could not be assessed and inconsistent customer service and poor forecasting had led to lengthy delays on processing UK applications.
Investor & Entrepreneur Visa Applications – The Findings
The report found:
- All necessary security checks were carried out on Tier 1 visa applications;
- Effective links between decision-makers and intelligence units within the Home Office provided an important safeguard against fraudulent applications;
- 91% of decisions on investor visas were reasonable but this fell to 62.5% for entrepreneur visas; and
- The Home Office had significantly underestimated the scale of the increase in entrepreneur applications following the closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Work route. These rose by 1,520% between February and December 2012. As a result, they did not have the resources in place to deal with the applications and a backlog of 9,000 cases developed.
John Vine’s Recommendations to UK Home Office
The Chief Inspector recommended the following were necessary if the Home Office were to clear the backlog in an effective and efficient way:
- Quality of decision-making on entrepreneur visa applications should be improved;
- Personal data should be stored securely and in line with Data Protection Act requirements;
- Appeal and Administrative Review outcomes should be shared with case workers and entry clearance officers on a routine and systematic basis; and
- Reasons for decisions on visa applications should be properly evidenced and recorded.
Successful Tier 1 Investor & Entrepreneur Visa Applications
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1 Investor Visa application or Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment of your case.