The service will involve UK Border Agency staff going to the home or office of the applicant and taking Biometric Information (full face digital photo and fingerprints), looking through all application documents, making an on the spot decision and no doubt getting an autograph for the kids!
Prior to the new ‘Mobile Biometrics and Case Working’ service applicants would have to go to a biometric collection centre or post office just like any other applicant. However the new service will allow them to avoid any delays in application processing and any ‘humiliations’ that may occur.
The new scheme to be rolled out in April 2010 will be initially launched as a pilot scheme in order for the UK Border Agency to assess whether it will be profitable. To begin with 50 appointments will be available for the period April 2010 to April 2011.
In the UKBA’s recent Ministerial Statement Announcing Proposed Fees for the year 2010/2011, the cost of operating a Mobile Biometrics and Case Working service will be just £1,982, which means the UKBA stands to make £13,018 per application. If the pilot scheme is successful and 50 applications are made during the 2010/2011 trial year total profit will be £650,000.
At the moment the majority of visa application fees are set significantly above the cost of processing an application, in order to generate revenues which will be used to improve the UK Immigration System as a whole (e.g. the new Points Based Immigration Systems (Tier 1, Tier 2), Identity Cards for foreign nationals, investment in new IT systems etc) and reduce the cost to the taxpayer (the UK Border Agency has an annual budget of £2 billion with the majority of funding coming from taxation). The UKBA believes that those benefiting most from the immigration system (i.e. migrants and employers) should contribute most to maintain the system.
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