In its bid to provide free information (as dictated by statute) the UKBA yesterday took the step of publishing a revised chapter of its immigration directorates’ instructions (IDIs) which covers the topic of family members.
The said IDI has been revised in four sections.
These are (i) section 1 – spouses; (ii) section 2 – civil partners; (iii) section 3 – fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners; and (iv) section 9 – unmarried and same sex relationships
Notwithstanding the fact that the agency advertises the publication of its internal documents under the guise of its commitment to freedom of information, the truth is that the new IDI is quite perverse. This is because it reflects the incorporation of the new English language tests into the fold of the the immigration rules. The tests are really silly because they discriminate against British citizens and those settled in the UK: the tests, however, do not apply to the family members of EU citizens!
Despite the ostensibly noble stance taken up the the agency on “freedom of information” the UKBA has historically used its obscurantist policies and insensitive bureaucracy to withhold key information from applicants.
What is shameful for the agency is that it has failed to provide the above information in the part of its website which is reserved for applicants. Instead the agency has opted to publish the new IDI in a heavily camouflaged part of its site headed “legal advisers”. No doubt this has been done so that applicants remain oblivious to the change. This approach, informing legal advisers over applicants of new developments, provides a “policy” advantage for the agency whereby it can just pocket the fees for any unadvised applications which fail to meet the agency’s conditions to remain in the UK. Way to go UKBA. Happy New Year applicants!