Chief Inspector publishes report on UKBA’s Africa Visa Sections

Chief Inspector publishes report on African visa sections.

An inspection of the visa sections that process applications submitted in Africa compared the performance of the posts in Nairobi, Abuja, Pretoria and the UK Visa Section. The report revealed that previously inspected visa sections in Abuja and the UK Visa Section while showing some improvements still had significant room to improve further, particularly in regard to the quality of decision making.

The Chief Inspector was pleased to find that overall the visa sections in Abuja, Pretoria and Nairobi had performed well against the Agency’s customer service targets but pointed out that the improvements were inconsistent between posts and that the Agency must strive for greater consistency between all four posts.

However, the Chief Inspector was concerned to find :

  • despite a number of recommendations having been accepted by the Agency in previous reports little progress had been made in implementing them;
  • a significant number of cases where an inconsistent approach was being taken to the retention of supporting documents relevant to the decision whether or not to grant a visa and a failure to make adequate notes on the IT caseworking system.
  • applicants are being refused entry clearance, in a significant proportion of cases, for failing to provide information, the need for which they could not have been aware of when submitting their application, and are not being afforded the opportunity to provide that information subsequently.
  • inconsistent implementation of a robust quality assurance mechanism to assess decision making quality and this was contributing to the continued poor performance in some areas. This was particularly evident in Abuja and the UK Visa Section, although it was working reasonably well in Nairobi and Pretoria. 

The Chief Inspector said:

“Despite my making recommendations in previous inspections to help the Agency improve, I found that little progress had been made in a number of areas.  This is especially frustrating considering the Agency has accepted the recommendations and yet I continue to identify the same issues.

“I would now like to see these recommendations being embraced by the Agency without delay to ensure that there is a real improvement in the quality and consistency of decision making.”

Download this report as a pdf here:

A comparative inspection of the UK Border Agency visa sections in Africa.

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