Overstaying migrant total static

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Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The number of foreign nationals who have overstayed their permission to remain in the UK has remained static as the Government fails to control the problem, an inspector has said.

Inspector of borders and immigration John Vine said the overall size of the so-called migration refusal pool – the number of foreign nationals refused leave to stay in the UK after 2008 – was 173,562 in the three months to June this year, compared to 174,057 in the same period two years earlier.

Mr Vine was informed at the start of his inspection of the existence of a further 223,600 records, pre-dating December 2008, which had not previously been included within the pool. By January this year, the pre-2008 records had been reduced to 168,300.

He said: “Any failure to take action against foreign nationals who overstay their permission to be in the UK has the potential to undermine public confidence in immigration control.”

The Home Office signed a contract with outsourcing giant Capita to review and, where possible, close the records of migrants in the migration refusal pool.

However, Mr Vine found this move had not fulfilled most of the benefits that the Department had claimed would result.

The inspection found there were “significant inaccuracies” in Capita’s classification of migration refusal pool records.

It found that 16 of a sample of 57 records which were closed because the migrant had been discovered to have left the UK were completed in error.

The inspectors estimated that, as a result of this, departures could have been overstated by more than 1,140 in 2013/14 – more than a quarter of the total of 4,080 claimed by Capita in that year.

The overall number of post-2008 records in the pool had fallen by only 3.6% between April 2013 and April 2014 and there was no evidence that Capita’s work had increased the number of enforced removals that the Home Office had been able to achieve, the inspection said.

In addition, less than 1% of those overstayers who had passed through the Capita contact management process had departed after contact.

Mr Vine added: “I was disappointed to find a high level of inaccuracy in the classification of MRP records, with more than a quarter of departures in my sample being incorrectly recorded.

“Considerable improvements in the Home Office’s capability to monitor, progress, and prioritise the immigration enforcement caseload will be needed to deliver its strategy for reducing the level of irregular migration.”

Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

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