Immigration delays nearly double, says report
LONDON: The number of people WAITING longer than THE Home OFICE’S target time for their immigration claims to be processed has soared despite a considerable drop in cases, The Independent can reveal.
The government has been accused of leaving thousands of people in a “state of limbo” As igures show THE proportion of UK settlement applications taking more than than six months to resolve has almost doubled in three years.
People who have lived in the UK for more than a decade say they had been made suicidal by the delays, unable to visit dying relatives or apply for jobs as THE Home OFFICE retains THEIR passports throughout the process.
Lawyers and politicians branded the delays in deciding applications for INDEINFITE LEAVE to remain “UNACCEPTABLE” and said the fact that waiting times had increased despite a drop in applications indicated a drive to deter migrants as part of the hostile environment.
Data obtained by The Independent through a freedom of information request reveal more than one in 10 applicants – amounting to 8,210 people – waited for longer than THE Home OFICE’S own sixmonth customer service standard before receiving a decision in 2017, compared with 6 per cent – or 5,627 – in 2014.
This is despite the fact that the number of applications processed decreased by a ifth In THE same period, From 95,651 to 74,952. THE Home OFICE SAID “occasional” delays arose due to the “complex nature” of certain applications – and said that applicants could obtain their passports “if they chose to withdraw their visa application.”
One man, who has lived in the UK for more than a decade, said he was made to feel suicidal after waiting for more than two years For THE Home OFICE to process his settlement application.
Mushtaque Shah and his wife Sehar, Pakistani nationals who have a Britishborn daughter, have been unable to visit terminally ill relatives before they died BECAUSE THE Home OFICE Is HOLDING onto their passports.
Describing being unable to see his uncle when he got ill, Shah said: “He raised me until the age of 18; he was like a dad to me. I called the Home Ofice Every month, But THE only Answer I’d get is it is it’s ‘in progress.’
“He died and I couldn’t see him. I was suicidal in that week.”
In another case, Noory Ahmad, who LED THE war In Iraq In 2000, HAD to wait ive years For A DECISION AFTER CLAIMING for asylum in the UK in 2003.