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UK visa system ‘may discriminate against Pakistanis’

LONDON: The British agency responsible for monitoring immigration may be discriminating against Pakistanis in the way it hands out visas, a report by the independent chief inspector said Thursday. John Vine, who oversees the work of the UK Border Agency, found that its staff were making it more difficult for people to enter Britain from Pakistan than from Gulf states such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai. “I found that staff were applying higher evidential requirements for entry to the UK to customers from Pakistan,” Vine said in a new report. He added: “I believe this means that the UK Border Agency was not only failing to be open and transparent about their approach towards customers, but also may be discriminating unlawfully in favour of Gulf Co-operation Council customers and against Pakistanis.” The agency should take immediate action to ensure it was not violating the race relations law, he added. afp

2 thoughts on “UK visa system ‘may discriminate against Pakistanis’”

  1. The letter does not address the finding of report, it is related to another matter, and again that is duty of High Commissioner to save the the process.

    The discrimination, as the report says is ” discriminating against Pakistanis in the way it hands out visas”

    No one is denying this, because this is the truth, we have seen day in and day out, applicant are refused on grounds which make no sense. There is a set of rules, which in case of Pakistan’s not applied. The refusals some times states that your tax return can be made in Pakistan, the documents provided ( Law only requires documents to be provided) does not seem to be genuine ( no verification is conducted).

    A high level inquiry should be conducted into this, because Pakistan is the 4th Largest country which make applications to the UK, and pays the at least PKR 625,0000000. just to get the visa processes, and that is where they are discriminated.

  2. UK HC denies discrimination against Pakistanis
    ISLAMABAD: The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Adam Thomson, in an open letter to the media has denied any discriminatory treatment being meted out to Pakistanis visiting or residing in the United Kingdom. The full text of his letter is as under:
    “Several Pakistani media outlets have mistakenly alleged that the UK is targeting Pakistanis in a clampdown on illegal immigrants and is forcing deportation without any legal recourse following the renewal of the Pakistan-UK Memorandum of Understanding on Managed Migration. I can well understand the concern shown on 4 November by members of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in response to these media reports. But these allegations are completely false. They are a reminder that one should not believe everything one reads in the press.
    “As I told Foreign Minister Qureshi on 4 November: The vast majority of migrants to the UK are law-abiding and want to abide by the conditions of their visa. We are keen to support them. However, it is perfectly reasonable not to tolerate those who abuse our visa system. Combating illegal migration is a top priority of the UK government. Illegal migration is after all illegal. We do not single out Pakistanis — we will not tolerate this abuse from any nationality. We will take action against all of those who are living in the UK illegally, including those who overstay, illegal entrants and those working without permission.
    “The UK Border Agency would rather [ask] individuals with no right to remain in the UK leave voluntarily, but where they do not do so we are left with no choice but to seek to enforce their removal. The UK Border Agency will only remove those found to have no right to stay in the UK. In this case the individual is given advance notice of their removal and during this time can access legal advice. It is worth underlining that illegal migrants face many risks:
    “Unscrupulous immigration agents who try to facilitate illegal migration to the UK exploit migrants: agents charge a great deal of money, the journeys can be dangerous and most migrants do not reach the UK. “If they do get to the UK, they realise that the life they were promised does not exist. Living conditions can often be harsh, with no access to healthcare or other facilities; they cannot get work and if they do are often exploited.
    “The UK Border Agency is working hard to detect illegal migrants and return them to their home country. We are working closely with the Pakistan government to do this. “The UK has a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Managed Migration with Pakistan. This was initially signed for a period of 5 years in July 2005 and has recently been renewed for a further 5 years without any changes to the text. The MOU provides the framework for co-operation on a range of immigration matters, including returns, and its renewal has signalled a mutual commitment to strengthen this co-operation. But the renewal has not triggered any change of policy.
    “I share the focus of members of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on this issue. They are always welcome to check with my High Commission whenever they are alarmed by possibly misguided media reports. I am very glad to extend an invitation to them to contact the British High Commission to discuss any issues of concern in the future.”

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