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Inspection finds backlog in marriage applications

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has recently published a report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s handling of marriage and civil partnership applications, with a particular focus on the extent to which a consistent approach was adopted overseas and in the UK.

The Chief Inspector found some examples of good practice and effectiveness, including:

  • the majority of decisions on marriage applications were reasonable and in accordance with the Immigration Rules;
  • the Agency had carried out security checks against all applicants in the file sample in order to establish whether they had previous convictions or adverse immigration histories; and
  •  the Agency made good use of information obtained overseas to detect people who should not be allowed to enter or remain in the UK.

However, the Chief Inspector was concerned to find:

  • a backlog of 14,000 requests from applicants for the UK Border Agency to re-consider decisions to refuse them further leave to remain and, a further 2,100 cases where applicants were still waiting for an initial decision on their application for further leave to remain – some dating back  to 2003;
  • an inconsistent approach between UK and overseas caseworkers when assessing whether an applicant could be maintained without access to public funds;
  • an equally inconsistent approach between UK and overseas caseworkers when considering human rights in applications which are refused, with overseas staff rarely considering human rights when making a decision; and
  • specific consideration of the best interests of children was only given in one of the 21 refused applications for further leave to remain or settlement, and none of the 39 refused applications for entry clearance.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.


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