ISLAMABAD: The British High Commission (BHC) on Tuesday warned visa applicants against unscrupulous individuals trying to defraud people.
“Evidence has emerged that networks of bogus agents and consultants have been operating scams targeted at UK visa applicants,” said a statement issued by the BHC.
It said these scams often involved people claiming to be able to influence or speed up a decision on a visa application, for a fee. “Some also claim falsely to work in the visa section. None of these individuals can speed up or affect the final decision,” it said.
“We’re urging all our visa applicants to be on their guard against these sorts of scams. Our visa service is one of the quickest of any Western mission in Islamabad, and no one except the Entry Clearance Officer has any influence over the decision to grant or refuse a visa application,” said British High Commissioner Robert Brinkley.
He said any applicant approached by someone claiming to be able to secure a visa decision in return for payment should inform the high commission immediately by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 051 201 2487.
The statement said the BHC took the integrity of the visa system extremely seriously and recently it announced that any applicant found trying to cheat the system with forged documents or by lying on their application would be refused, and barred from applying for a UK visa for up to ten years.
“We will take swift action against anyone trying to cheat the UK visa system,” Brinkley said, adding, “Mostly, that means agents providing false documents, or applicants trying to use them in their application. But we will also act where we find instances of internal fraud.”
He also said that following a recent investigation into allegations of corruption within the visa section, some staff resigned and several others faced disciplinary action.
Source: Daily times, 7/5/2008