The visa system shouldn’t be run as a money-making rip-off
4 weeks ago
We report alarming proof right this moment that the revenue motive is being introduced into immigration selections in ways in which could distort the neutral administration of a delicate public service.
Because the UK visa system was outsourced 5 years in the past to VFS, a Dubai-based firm, immigration attorneys say the standard of service has deteriorated, and that visa candidates really feel pressured by aggressive gross sales pitches to purchase “premium” providers they don't want.
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The Unbiased has all the time advocated a liberal market economic system as essentially the most highly effective engine of fabric progress, and has no quarrel with the revenue motive being harnessed to supply public providers. GPs, in any case, are personal contractors to the NHS, and plenty of corporations present mission administration abilities which can be merely not out there within the public sector.
However it's important that incentives in public providers are aligned with the pursuits of the shoppers of such providers reasonably than of the suppliers. That might appear to be the chance in these two visa contracts. Any holidaymaker who has not too long ago utilized for a European Well being Insurance coverage Card ought to pay attention to plenty of on-line scammers who will cost for acquiring a card from the NHS, which anybody can do for themselves free.
The visa contract seems to present VFS an incentive to behave like a scammer, charging additional for providers of no profit to the applicant, when it's imagined to be performing on behalf of the Residence Workplace within the public curiosity.
What makes the scenario worse is that the Residence Workplace itself has an incentive to perpetuate the system, as a result of it takes a share of the income from visa fees.
Once more, there's nothing improper with the precept of affordable fees for passports and visas, however the goal ought to be to cowl prices reasonably than to make a revenue for the taxpayer. There can be no objection to VFS itself making an inexpensive revenue from the environment friendly and truthful administration of visa purposes, however the contract shouldn't reward poor service, or present an incentive to sting weak candidates with fees for providers they don't want.