Paying money to immigration officials: A quick entry into the United Kingdom

You have the cash for the UK Home Office - avoid lines at UK airport immigration counters. You thought this only works in third world countries paying off corrupt officials?

Paying money to immigration officials: A quick entry into the United Kingdom

You have the cash for the UK Home Office – avoid lines at UK airport immigration counters. You thought this only works in third world countries paying off corrupt officials? Britain makes it a scheme to generate revenue for the country.

The plan for “premium fast-track processing” is one of several proposals outlined yesterday to cover more of the costs of the UK Border Agency by raising cash from foreign visitors.

Fast-track processing is already available to some first-class and business-class passengers arriving in the country through Heathrow as well as those arriving via private jets.

The proposed scheme would extend the premium service to other airports.

How much passengers would pay was not clear, but a consultation paper published yesterday said the Home Office wanted to “increase the charges above cost-recovery levels.”

It goes on: “We intend to expand the provision of dedicated VIP suites and premium fast-track processing through the border at certain ports, both of which are currently charged at a cost-recovery level.

“We will set fees at a level that reflects the value of the product. The income will be used to help fund the immigration system, secure the border and invest in improving processes.

“Fees for some premium services will be charged to the airline or port rather than directly to the travelers, although the airline or port may decide to pass on some, or all, of the cost of those services to travelers.”

The Home Office said the scheme was an “opportunity to expand and enhance the range of premium services to better meet the needs of certain visitors”, adding that the premium service would provide “exclusivity.”

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Although the scheme would be mainly targeted at wealthy visitors, a spokesman for the department would not rule out it being extended to ordinary holidaymakers later, the Daily Telegraph reported.

UK Border Agency officers help a man into a van: The plan for “premium fast-track processing” is one of several proposals outlined yesterday to cover more of the costs of the agency by raising cash from foreign visitors

UK Border Agency officers help a man into a van: The plan for “premium fast-track processing” is one of several proposals outlined yesterday to cover more of the costs of the agency by raising cash from foreign visitors

The consultation paper gives members of the public three weeks to respond to the proposals, which also include plans to introduce ‘premium’ services for those seeking long term visas and find new commercial partnerships.

The Home Office is to spend £1.75billion on managing the immigration system this financial year, with around half the cost clawed back by fees on applications and services.

In the past three years it has processed around 7.5million visa applications and more than two million applications to remain in Britain.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “We believe it is right that those who use and benefit most from the immigration system (migrants and the organizations that sponsor them for work or study) should make an appropriate contribution towards its operation.

“Similarly, those who receive an enhanced service at the border should help meet the cost of providing that service.”

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