Abolition of UKBA

Today, in a surprise announcement, Therese May, The Home Secretary, said that the UKBA will be dissolved and replaced with two organisations. The first will be a high volume service focused on making high-quality decisions about who comes here, with a culture of customer satisfaction for business men and visitors who want to come here legally. The second will be an organisation that has law enforcement at its heart and getting tough with those who break the immigration laws.

According to the FT the changes come in the wake of a report published yesterday by MPs on the House of Commons home affairs committee which was highly critical of UKBA’s failings and had calculated that the backlog of 312,000 immigration and asylum cases would take 24 years to clear based on the current rate of progress. Business travellers have continually complained of long delays for visa processing with people waiting for six weeks or more for “super-premium” visa appointments which cost them £6,000.

The new organisations will come under direct control of The Home Office and answer to ministers. The IT systems right across immigration will be revamped as the current systems are incompatible and unreliable.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee congratulated May for “delivering the lethal injection” to the organisation.

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