ISLAMABAD: The British High Commission in Islamabad Tuesday issued a warning to applicants for UK visas to be on the lookout for unscrupulous individuals trying to defraud them. Evidence has emerged that networks of bogus agents and consultants have been operating scams targeted at UK visa applicants. These scams often involve people claiming to be able to influence or speed up a decision on a visa application, for a fee. Some also claim falsely to work in the visa section. None of these individuals can speed up or affect the final decision.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Robert Brinkley said, “We’re 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.” Applicants can report their suspicions by e-mail to email@example.com or phone 051 201 2487.
The High Commission takes the integrity of the visa system extremely seriously. Recently it announced that any applicant found trying to cheat the system with forged documents or by lying on their application would be refused, and barred from applying for a UK visa for up to ten 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 have resigned and several others face disciplinary action.”-SANA