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A Call for Transparency, Efficiency, and Fairness in the UKBA's processing of Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa Applications

A Call for Transparency, Efficiency, and Fairness in the UKBA's processing of Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa Applications


Why this is important

Thousands of international postgraduate students have been waiting for 5 months or longer to receive a decision from the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) regarding their applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom under the Tier 1 Post-Study Work route. In reality, the Tier 1 PSW visa application is simple to process, and it should take at most 1 month for the UKBA to reach a decision and return the applicant's documents.

Because the UKBA is withholding the passports and other identification documents of the applicants, these students are left without means of identification and are unable to travel without their passports (even for emergencies). Furthermore, the UKBA has not been transparent in processing these applications; there is no way to directly contact a UKBA representative to enquire about application status, and the UKBA website gives sparse and misleading information regarding processing times and application progress. The result is thousands of international students left in the dark about their rights to remain in the United Kingdom.

Students have paid £540 or more to have their visa applications processed, and it is clear that the low level of service provided by the UKBA does not justify such an exorbitant fee. Furthermore, the deplorable quality of service provided by the UKBA ill befits a nation like the United Kingdom, who has long maintained a far-reaching global reputation of greatness.

Please sign this petition to help the international students who are anxiously awaiting a decision on their visa application as well as the rightful return of their passports and identification documents. The vast majority of international students cause no trouble for the United Kingdom, and do not cost the country a single penny. In return, international postgraduate students who have studied in the United Kingdom have contributed greatly to the economy through the payment of university tuition and other items. Furthermore, these international students have gained valuable skills in their studies, and have much to offer in the job market of the United Kingdom.

International students do not deserve to be treated so unfairly. If the United Kingdom hopes to maintain its reputation, set a high standard for education, and draw the "best and brightest" from around the globe, things need to change. The United Kingdom must guarantee to international students three things: 1) timeliness and efficiency in processing visa applications, 2) transparency in the progress of the UKBA in processing visa applications, and 3) that the UKBA's possession of the students' identification documents (passports) does not exceed 2 weeks, which will allow the student to travel in emergencies and maintain their rights to their documents of identification as long as possible.

These are basic rights that all international students deserve to enjoy, and we request that the United Kingdom and the UKBA meet our demands.

Posted July 12, 2012
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