Border Agency apologises for skilled migrant blunder at Heathrow

The Home Office had admitted it will retrain an immigration officer who harassed an Indian migrant worker returning from holiday.

Pooja Tandon, who has lived in the UK with her husband for the past four-and-a-half years, was stopped at Heathrow Airport in July.

The former IT professional joined the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, but moved to a more flexible HR role after having a child – which is allowed under the HSMP scheme.

So she was alarmed when an immigration officer quizzed her about her job on her return from holiday.

Tandon claimed she was lectured on finding alternative employment more suited to her credentials, and felt intimidated.

In a letter to campaign group the HSMP Forum, the UK Border Agency apologised for the incident and said it could have been handled in a more “positive manner”.

“The immigration officer who dealt with this incident has been interviewed, and it appears that he was not fully aware of the conditions attached to a HSMP visa,” the letter stated.

“It is accepted that there is a training need in this particular instance, which will be addressed, and the immigration officer has accepted that they should have handled the situation differently and communicated with Mrs Tandon in a better way.”

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