Dear Mr Bassie,
I am not British. I originate from the Caribbean. I had made an application to remain in the United Kingdom, but my application was denied. I have been thinking about my next move as I have now made my life in the United Kingdom, but I have recently been contacted by a company offering me assistance to return to my home in the Caribbean. Is this real, and how did they get my details? I was really caught off guard. Any information would be helpful.
Capita Business Services was awarded a contract with the United Kingdom Border Agency in October 2012 to provide a range of services. Included in this range were contact management and case-working services. The company is charged with contacting persons who no longer have permission to remain in the United Kingdom and also facilitating that person's return to his home country. This is all in an effort by the British authorities to maintain control over the United Kingdom immigration system. It could possibly be that company as they are currently contacting persons who have overstayed in the United Kingdom.
Capita Business Services is working on cases that are in the 'migrant refusal pool' (MRP). This pool consists of records of people who have made applications to remain in the United Kingdom, but have been refused, or who have had their leave curtailed. In such cases, Capita Business Services will be using those records to contact applicants with a view to establishing their current circumstances and, where appropriate, to inform them that they are required to leave the United Kingdom.
How the system works is that when a foreign national has entered the United Kingdom on a valid visa and has subsequently been refused an extension of leave to remain, but evidence of their departure has not been confirmed, Capita Business Services will typically be contacting that person. Since October 2012, Capita has been checking cases against the United Kingdom Border Agency's records, all in an effort to identify which individuals should be contacted. The company will use various types of contact methods to establish the circumstances associated with an individual, and these might include text messages, letters, emails, and the telephone.
This company has been contacting thousands of migrants every week. It should be noted that while the vast majority have been identified correctly, there have been a small number of cases that might include people who are now actually legally living in the United Kingdom. It is possible that in such cases, the circumstances may have changed, or updates on such cases may not have filtered through in time to prevent the company contacting that person. The United Kingdom Border Agency is attempting to use this system to enforce the immigration rules, and in doing so, prevent persons with no right to stay indefinitely being in the United Kingdom, thereby undermining the immigration system.
The United Kingdom Border Agency has stated that it intends to continue to work closely with Capita Business Services to ensure the information they are using is as accurate and as current as possible. However, they have stated that if they are in receipt of evidence that does show that an individual has valid leave to remain or has left the United Kingdom, then it will update its records.
I hope this helps.
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: email@example.com.