UKBA’s backlog of marriage applications exposed by John Vine betrays a disturbing reality. It confirms serious concerns JCWI have held for some time, but three points are essential to accentuate:
- The lack of urgency and frequent delays have terrible effects on families. A ten year wait for a decision makes for ruined childhoods, wrecked marriages and has an appalling toll of people’s health and wellbeing.
- The fact that there is a 53% success rate on appeal shows the poor quality of decision making. The costs of applying for visas are astronomical - £826.00 for an initial spouse application – and the service provided is way below the standards anyone could reasonably expect. An appeal costs £140.00 but often involves excessive legal fees as well.
- There is a glaring lack of consideration of the best interests of children. This is in contravention to UKBA’s duties on human rights. This is a appalling infringement of the rights of families and children and must be wholeheartedly condemned.
Habib Rahman, Chief Exec of JCWI said:
“This is not just a matter of UKBA needing to raise their game. These figures reveal, once more, the culture of disbelief and refusal that exists with UKBA. It is not acceptable that people are having to wait up to ten years for a decision. The human stories behind the figures here are characterised with suffering and heartache. Change is vital and urgent”