Independent Chief Inspector publishes report on Guangzhou visa section

A report published today by the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency has found that performance at the Guangzhou visa section is improving with effective joint working between staff and stakeholders.

The Independent Chief Inspector, John Vine CBE QPM found that the visa section in Guangzhou had gained the support of stakeholders when it decided to suspend accepting and processing Tier 4 applications from certain categories of customers in September 2009. This followed concerns about the level of abuse that had been identified in this immigration category.

Mr Vine also found that, following his recommendations made in earlier inspection reports on visa sections in Abuja and Chennai, the UK Border Agency had reviewed its customer service standards, simplifying delivery targets for both customers and staff.

However, the Independent Chief Inspector was concerned to find that the strong focus on achieving productivity targets was having a detrimental effect on the quality of decision making. There were also significant delays in the administrative review process which was a consistent finding in the Chief Inspector’s last three overseas inspections of Kuala Lumpur, Chennai and Abu Dhabi/Islamabad.

Mr Vine said, “The Guangzhou visa section faced significant challenges following the introduction of Tier 4 (student) visas. However, at the time of inspection, I saw evidence that performance was improving and I believe my recommendations will help deliver further improvements, both in decision quality and customer service.”

Download the full report as a pdf here:

An inspection of the visa section in Guangzhou

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