Closure of Tehran visa application centre: alternative arrangements

Due to ongoing tensions between the UK and Iran, the visa application centre at the British Embassy in Tehran is closed until further notice.

The UK Border Agency will be contacting visa applicants who submitted an application in Tehran up to 29 November 2011 (inclusive) who have not yet received decisions or updates on their case. All original documents should have been returned to visa applicants, if not further enquiries should be directed to the Iranian authorities (as the UK Border Agency would have returned them to the original issuing authority - how that works for refugee family reunion applications we do not know).

Iranian nationals wishing to submit an application for a visit visa only can do so at any visa application centre worldwide. Iranian nationals, who normally live in Iran, may submit applications for all visa categories at the following visa application centres in the UAE and Turkey:

United Arab Emirates - Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Turkey - Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and Gaziantep

Applications should still be submitted online and attendance at the visa application centres is by pre-booked online appointment only. It is mandatory for visa applicants in Turkey to pay for their applications online.

The UK Border Agency have said that it is not possible to process visa applications within their published customer service standards.

More when we have it.

UKBA Language Analysis in asylum cases. UKBA Language Analysis in Asylum Cases

Dr John Campbell, Head of Department of Sociology an Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS] produced a report concerning the UK Border Agency's [UKBA] use of Language Analysis in asylum cases.

The UKBA states that the purpose of their analysis is to properly determine the place of origin for asylum seekers. Dr Campbell spent time examining the process, the procedures, as well as linguists' claims of being experts.

Dr Campbell concludes that the process is not objective and is fundamentally political. It is based on flawed assumptions about language, and on subjective, rather than objective, criteria. There is also very little empirical evidence to support language analysis.

It is an invaluable read for anyone dealing with asylum cases. The full report can be found

Undocumented migrants keep on facing obstacles to access basic rights and justice

The European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published a new report entitled “Fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation in the European Union which argues that, “while EU Member States have a right to control immigration, non-compliance with migration regulations cannot deprive migrants in an irregular situation of certain basic rights to which they are entitled as human beings”.

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum said, “We employ irregular migrants as cheap domestic workers to clean our homes. We eat the fruits and vegetables that they pick. But despite their contribution to our societies, when irregular migrants try to access healthcare or education services, or try to seek justice in case of abuse, they often face a closed door or, worse, deportation. Human rights belong to all human beings. And we remain human beings even if we do not have a passport, or a visa or a residence permit.”

A recent course by given by
Raza Husain QC at Matrix Chambers explained how EEA law may be relied upon to safeguard those rights.