UK warns of unscrupulous visa agents in Sri Lanka

The UK Border Agency today warned prospective UK visa applicants in Sri Lanka of the dangers of being misled by unscrupulous agents.

UK Border Agency’s Regional Director, Thomas Greig said Britain welcomes genuine visitors, students and workers to the UK and are committed to ensuring the quality and availability of visa services for genuine applicants.

“We will, however, not tolerate abuse of the UK visa system and we have a zero tolerance of fraud. I strongly advise anyone who wants a visa for the UK not to listen to agents who offer to sell forged documents or say that they can guarantee a visa,” the British High Commission in Colombo quoted him as saying.

The UK Border Agency does not endorse any agents in Sri Lanka, nor does it have a list of preferred agents, the Embassy said.

“We have very effective processes for detecting fraud and work with our international partners and Sri Lankan authorities to do so. When we uncover fraud, including false bank statements, education and language certificates, we will refuse the visa and the applicant will face a ten year ban on travelling to the UK, as well as possible action by the Sri Lankan authorities. We will report agents involved in fraud to the police,” Thomas Greig said.

Since 10 October 2012, agents are no longer permitted to collect documents at the end of the visa process.

The Embassy said that applications with forged documents will be refused, an the applicant will face a 10 year ban on travel to the UK and also further investigations by the Sri Lankan authorities.