Home Office delays that leave Cambridge constituents trapped for months without their passports must be ended, says Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner. Quizzing Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis in Parliament yesterday, Daniel demanded to know what he is doing to improve the shambolic immigration procedure which has badly affected Cambridge residents and businesses.
Daniel said " I have a number of constituents who have family members who have applied for visas, submitted their passports and then endured very long delays - in some cases, many months - without their passports - so in effect they are trapped, unable to travel. What is UKVI going to do about these cases?"
The Immigration Minister responded that reviewing identity documents such as passports was an important part of maintaining a robust immigration system, but that the government would be happy to return their passports if needed for travel or certified copies for ID purposes.
Daniel commented, "This is not he experience of my constituents. I have had cases where the Home Office has kept my constituent's family members' passports for many months and say that is the document is returned, the entire process will be invalidated, leading to months of more trauma further down the line."
“In one case, the Home Office has had an individual’s documents for over 110 days, processing his visa to come and live in the UK with his partner; during this time he has not been able to leave his current country of residence for business or to see family – while his fiancé lives in a state of anxiety in Cambridge. The Home Office originally stated that the visa would be processed in between five and 60 days.”
“In another case, a constituent’s husband had a job lined up in Cambridge, wishing to move here from abroad to be with her. The visa took 5 months to process, and so he lost the job offer due to the delay. He also nearly lost his job in Australia due to his passport being in the hands of the Entry Clearance Office.”
“The government know there’s a problem, and need to rethink the system, not just attempt to paper over the cracks to hide their blatant failings.”
To sign up to Daniel's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up here.