UKBA Regional Director of Pakistan, Carol Doughtry said: ‘‘we welcome genuine travellers from Pakistan and between January and March 2011 issued over 35,000 visas to Pakistani nationals. But we will not tolerate immigration abuse and will punish those who break immigration laws. Our aim isn\’t just to prevent illegal migration but also identify and take out those criminals behind these immigration scams.’
Various scams related to illegal immigration have recently come to light while the agency has been making a constant effort to tackle sham marriages – when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area, including the UK, as means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.
A mixture of Pakistani and Slovak nationals, were arrested in February, following an investigation by the UKBA in Islamabad into criminal gangs organising sham marriages. Slovakian women would fly to Pakistan and marry Pakistani men. Documents would then be provided to the men to support a visa application. Documentation were generally forged in attempt to make it appear that Slovakian females lived and worked in the UK.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
\’We are doing more than ever to stop those seeking to abuse our immigration system from entering the UK and, as this investigation clearly demonstrates, that work does not stop at the UK border. Our investigations into organised immigration crime both in the UK and abroad mean we know the scams the gangs use and can keep one step ahead. The message is clear – the UK is no longer an easy touch.\’
Between January and March 2011, the UKBA worked with air carriers in Pakistan to stop 214 passengers who intended to travel to the UK without proper documentation on flights from Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. Additionally, a 40-year-old man from Karachi was jailed for six years and nine months on July 29 after he was caught trying to smuggle heroin at Manchester Airport.
At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.
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