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UK visa applicants cautioned "Dawn News"
« on: May 07, 2008, 07:14:48 PM »
UK visa applicants cautioned

Islamabad, May 07, 2008: The British High Commission on Tuesday cautioned people seeking UK visas against unscrupulous elements trying to defraud them.

It said there was evidence that networks of bogus agents and consultants had been operating to fleece UK visa applicants.

These elements often claim to be able to influence or speed up a decision on a visa application, for a fee. Some of them also claim to be working in the visa section.

According to a press release, British High Commissioner Robert Brinkley said: "We are 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."We would ask any applicant who is approached by someone claiming to be able to secure a visa decision in return for payment to inform the high commission immediately," he said.

The high commission takes the integrity of the visa system extremely seriously.

The high commission recently announced that any applicant found trying to cheat the system with forged documents or by providing false information in their applications would be refused and barred from applying for a UK visa for up to 10 years.

"We will take swift action against anyone trying to cheat the UK visa system," Mr Brinkley said.

"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.

"Following a recent investigation into allegations of corruption within the visa section, some staff members have resigned and several others faced disciplinary action."

 Dawn