Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Critical of 11 Minutes Allowed to Issue Visas

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Critical of 11 Minutes Allowed to Issue Visas

Article excerpt

Staff responsible for vetting UK visa applications have just 11 minutes to process each one, leading to 'a worrying tension between fast turnaround and proper quality control, MPs have warned.

The Commons' Public Accounts Committee said the time constraints on staff at UKvisas, the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office agency responsible for issuing visas, does not give them enough time to scrutinise supporting documents adequately.

According to a report published on March 1, the result was that at times, staff felt that efficiency took precedence over the application of effective controls'.

UK visa applications have soared by 33% over the past five years, the MPs found, placing the entry clearance operation under significant strain.

Committee chair Edward Leigh said: '[11 minutes] is surely too little time to look closely at the supporting documents. …

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