The UK is witnessing a massive increase in visa applications from its citizens’ spouses from the Asian nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. It has made the visa processing more stringent for applicants from these nations.
British Asian immigrants are spending up to £7,000 to process their spouses’ visas to the UK. The immigration agencies in the UK are using visas issued in Ireland.
The Immigration agencies are seeking judicial intervention in case there are delays by the Irish authorities in issuing the visas. In fact, an agency named Immigration Assistance Services (IAS), with an address in Rochdale, England, is assuring that it can guarantee visas to the spouses of applicants by seeking a favourable ruling in Irish Courts.
Irish Times cites a recent case, in which Ms. Justice Mary Faherty directed the Department of Justice and Equality to decide on a visa application in six weeks of a UK citizen’s Pakistani spouse. The spouse had earlier been denied visa by the UK officials.
The couple then approached the IAS to obtain an Irish Visa as they contended that the spouse was eligible for a visa under the laws of EU. EU grants visas to the spouses of the EU nationals migrating to Ireland for work.
This provision of EU is being utilised by UK agencies to assist its nationals in securing a visa for their spouses who are not EU citizens. Once an Irish visa is obtained, the couple can move to the UK after staying in Ireland for a duration of 91 days.
The agencies are thus encouraging the applicant couples to spend a holiday in Ireland to fulfil this criterion and then stay in the UK as per the legal requirement.
The Department of Justice and Equality has expressed its concern to the High Court recently with regards to regarding the misuse of this provision of the EU. It has raised concerns that Ireland may act as a back door entry for people who are otherwise legally not permitted to migrate to the UK. According to the department, this is not a positive precedent for the common travel area.
The department has noted that there is an exceptional rise in the application of the European Union treaty rights. This has been more so in the cases that involve the family members of the UK citizens from the Asian countries.