Home Office backlog leaves foreign workers trapped in UK

Hundreds
of foreign business executives working for UK companies are trapped here
because of delays in the Home Office’s immigration system, according to the
Guardian.

The
backlog, which could affect thousands of people who have come to work in the UK
through the highly-skilled migrant programme and on work permits, is a result
of changes introduced in April, the newspaper reports.

The
problems mean that routine applications from senior businesspeople to extend
their official permission to remain in the UK are now taking between seven and
nine weeks instead of the normal four to five working days.

It
means that they cannot leave the country while their passport is with the Home
Office without facing serious immigration problems on their return.

Ministers
admitted that part of the problem was due to immigration staff being switched
to the workers’ registration scheme set up to cope with Poles, Czechs and other
new EU citizens registering to work in the UK.

The
Home Office said it hopes to increase its capacity to deal with the backlog.

By Daniel Thomas

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