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UNITED KINGDOM: UK Border Agency Conducts Business Helpdesk Pilot

Since the introduction of the Points-Based System in the United Kingdom (UK), it has often been difficult to contact relevant UKBA staff to obtain status updates. This has caused frustration for businesses, which need more certainty and timely information when applying to sponsor migrants. In response to requests from the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) ran a Business Helpdesk Pilot until the end of March 2013. Following the trial and subject to satisfactory feedback, the UKBA will consider expanding the service to include businesses based overseas.

The time frames for obtaining updates under the pilot were as follows:

  • Status updates for applications made in the UK should be provided within two working days of the request;
  • More complex queries, such as interpreting guidance or when anomalous situations arise, should be provided within three working days; and
  • Passport/identity document-checking service, where there are concerns regarding a migrant's right to work in the UK, should be provided within 10 working days.

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