Jamaica Trails Other Caribbean Countries in British Visas


Improperly prepared applications and poor documentation have been cited as two of the most common reasons for the low success rate of Jamaican applicants for British visas.
Figures for 2005-2006 indicate that while 51 per cent of all Jamaican visa applicants were successful in their bid to enter the United Kingdom (UK) the success rate for the rest of the Caribbean was 93 per cent. In the last calendar year, there were 18,000 Jamaican visa applications to Britain but the success rate remains low.
This was some of the information which was disclosed last weekend at a Jamaica National Building Society-sponsored information seminar at the Brent Town Hall in North London. On hand to address the gathering was the Entry Clearance Manager at the British High Commission in Kingston, Lynn Ballard, who acknowledged the high refusal rate for Jamaican visa applicants to the United Kingdom.
She said the data indicated that improperly prepared applications and poor documentation were major factors for this high refusal rate. “We are trying to take decisions objectively and to make our decision to grant visas fair and reasonable,” she assured. She also said that her department was committed to making the visa application process transparent.
Also at the meeting was Temitope Olodo, Assistant Director of Community Cohesion at the Border and Immigration Agency. He and Ms. Ballard spoke of the changes which have been made to the visa regime, including new regulations for student visas and the introduction of a points system for work permits.
British Solicitor and Immigration Judge, Cordella Bart-Stewart outlined some of the issues faced by applicants and their sponsors, and clarified some of the requirements set out by the UK authorities. She also encouraged the audience to use the appeals process. General Manager of the Jamaica National Building Society, Earl Jarrett said his company had organised the “Immigration and You” forum to assist members of the Jamaican community to learn more about the new UK immigration rules and regulations. “We believe that it is our responsibility to provide our members . and the Jamaican community at large with a context in which they can engage in dialogue with civic and community leaders, in order to arrive at workable solutions to the challenges within their communities,” he said.
Adding that it was important that Jamaicans remain attuned to what is happening around them in their adopted country as well as to maintain close links with home.
He made the point that Jamaicans had contributed significantly to the economic and social development of the UK. “Today, many Jamaicans hold public offices from the local to the national level and represent the voices of our people in government. They are teachers, nurses, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and can be counted in all spheres.” he noted.

JIS Social