Im­mi­gra­tion de­lays nearly dou­ble, says re­port

The Gulf Today - - WORLD -

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.

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