Tue | Oct 17, 2017

How do I make a complaint?

Published:Tuesday | March 1, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I have applied for a visa. I reside outside the United Kingdom. I need to know how I can contact United Kingdom Visas and Immigration, from outside the United Kingdom, as I believe I have a legitimate complaint.

- HW

Dear HW,

Persons may contact United Kingdom Visas and Immigration from outside the United Kingdom by live web chat, telephone, and email. It should be noted that there is a charge for contacting United Kingdom Visas and Immigration by telephone and web chat. The contact centre staff does not have access to an applicant's personal information and as a result they cannot give a caller any advice about his/her personal circumstances.

With respect to the procedure for making complaints, persons are encouraged to email or write to the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration Department.

Persons should contact the department if they have a complaint about the service or professional conduct. The incident should have taken place within the last three months. Complaints should be made no later than three months after the date of the incident unless there are exceptional circumstances.

In cases where persons are not satisfied with a decision that was made or would like a review, they may be able to apply for an administrative review.

Also, if persons have been refused entry or leave to remain in the United Kingdom, those persons may have a right to appeal.

If persons want to report an immigration crime they can use the contact form available on the Home Office website if it is believed someone is working illegally, has made a false application to stay in the United Kingdom, or is involved in smuggling.

Also, if persons are making general enquiries or if they just want a general update on the progress of an application, it is advisable the service standards on the Home Office website be consulted for processing times.

It should be noted that if persons want to complain about other areas of the Home Office, such as Border Force, Disclosure and Barring Service, HM Passport Office and the Home Office, these areas have their own complaints procedures.

Also, if persons have had goods or a vehicle seized, goods and vehicle seizures are dealt with by the National Post Seizure Unit.

As stated above, the British authorities encourage persons to use email to complain where possible, as those persons are likely to receive a quicker response. Those persons can email the authorities at complaints@home

office.gsi.gov.uk if the complaints are about service or professional conduct.

Alternatively, a person can write to the authorities at:

Complaints Allocation Hub

Central Point of Receipt

11th Floor

Lunar House

40 Wellesley Road

Croydon

CR9 2BY

n John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com