Border Agency denies Pakistani visa ‘discrimination’

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Nearly half of family visa requests from Pakistan rejected last year,new figures

THE UK Border Agency has denied discriminating against Pakistani nationals after figures revealed nearly half of family visa applications from the country were rejected by the UK last year.

Figures released from the government showed 41% of all applications were rejected from Pakistan in 2009-09.

It marked a contrast to other South Asian countries where Bangladesh had a refusal rate of 31%, Sri Lanka 17% and India 14%.

Family visas allow relatives of British residents and citizens to visit the UK for occasions including weddings and funerals.

Last year Labour removed the right of appeal, meaning applicants are no longer able to dispute a decision which they feel is unfair.

Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather said the figures showed “clear discrimination against Pakistani’s.”

But Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency Lin Homer rejected the claims, saying they offered a “fair visa operation.”

“We do not discriminate against any individual nationality, to suggest otherwise is false. Applications from Pakistan are assessed in the same manner and against the same immigration rules as applications from every other nationality,” Ms Homer said.

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