UKVI’s current performance 

  • Representatives from UKVI informed the forum that, moving forward, UKVI will be proactively communicating with customers regarding individual cases, specifically those which cannot be processed within the published service standard.
  • UKVI is also working on a system which will allow individuals to track their applications.
  • By the end of this financial year, there should be no backlog on straightforward, in-country applications.
  • The surge in Tier 4 applications in 2012, which had led to a backlog and student passports being held over Christmas, was not repeated in 2013.
  • The number of no shows at the Public Enquiry Offices (PEO) has significantly decreased. 

EEA applications 

  • UKVI has been asked to consider offering a PEO service for EEA applications. 

Sponsorship 

  • UKVI has seen an increase in Tier 2 applications from start-up companies.
  • The average time for dealing with pre-licence Tier 2 applications is currently 26 days.
  • Approximately 4,388 visits took place last year to Tier 2/5 sponsor licence holders within London and South East England.
  • 353 Tier 2/5 sponsors were suspended last year. The main reasons were due to:
    • paying employees in cash;
    • migrant employees working in roles different to those stated on their Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS);
    • failures to correctly carry out Resident Labour Market Tests (RLMT);
    • poor record keeping; and
    • issues surrounding trading presence. 
  • Last year, approximately 201 Tier 4 sponsor licenses were suspended, of which 66 were revoked. The main reasons were due to:
    • poor record keeping;
    • issues with monitoring Tier 4 students; and
    • students working in excess of their permitted hours.