The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is the border control agency of the British government and part of the Home Office. It was formed as an executive agency on 1 April 2008 by a merger of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), UKvisas and the Detection functions of HM Revenue and Customs. The decision to create a single border control organisation was taken following a Cabinet Office report.
The agency's head office is 2 Marsham Street, London. Rob Whiteman has been Chief Executive since September 2011. Over 23,000 staff work for the agency, in over 130 countries. It is divided into four main operations, each under the management of a senior director: operations, immigration and settlement, international operations and visas and law enforcement.
The agency has come under formal criticism from the Parliamentary Ombudsman for consistently poor service, a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases, and a large and increasing number of complaints. In the first nine months of 2009–10, 97% of investigations reported by the Ombudsman resulted in a complaint against the agency being upheld. The complainants were asylum, residence, or other immigration applicants.
On 26 March 2013, it was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May that the UK Border Agency would be abolished and its work returned to the Home Office. Its executive agency status was removed as of 31 March 2013 and the agency will be split into two new organisations focusing on the visa system and immigration law enforcement.
Famous quotes containing the words border and/or agency:
“I learn to affirm
Truths light at strange turns of the minds road,
wrong turns that lead
over the border into wonder....”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)
“It is possible that the telephone has been responsible for more business inefficiency than any other agency except laudanum.... In the old days when you wanted to get in touch with a man you wrote a note, sprinkled it with sand, and gave it to a man on horseback. It probably was delivered within half an hour, depending on how big a lunch the horse had had. But in these busy days of rush-rush-rush, it is sometimes a week before you can catch your man on the telephone.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)