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Sarah Rapson to leave Home Office

Director General of UK Visas & Immigration departs after more than 11 years at the Home Office. Sarah Rapson, Director General of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) at the Home Office, will be leaving the Home Office in October to take up the post of Director of Authorisations at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Prior to joining UKVI as Director General in March 2014, Sarah worked in a number of high profile roles in the Home Office, including Chief Executive of the Passport Office (now HM Passport Office). Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill said: Sarah has served the Home Office and the public with great distinction and success, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her service. Under her leadership, HM Passport Office was consistently ranked as one of the top performing public sector organisations for customer service. Leading UKVI, Sarah has established a confident, able and transformed organisation. I wish her every further success in her new role. Sarah Rapson said: It’s been an honour to serve as Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), Registrar General of England and Wales and the first Director General of UKVI alongside dedicated hard-working colleagues. I’m...

Visa service closures in December 2016 and January 2017

The UK Visas and Immigration biometric enrolment centres in Christchurch and Wellington will be closed from 23 December 2016 to 5 January 2017. The Auckland office will be open on 23 and 28 to 30 December 2016. All offices will be open as normal from 6 January 2017. You should allow additional time for the processing of your visa application during this period. New Zealand Post often experiences delays during December, so customers are advised to apply for their visa as early as possible at this time, but no more than 3 months before their intended arrival date in the UK. Pay your fee Follow the instructions when you apply online to pay your visa fee. If you wish to use the priority visa service, you will be required to pay an additional fee. Priority visa service You can pay an additional fee to fast track your application and have your visa application placed at the front of the processing queue. This service is available for all visa categories. Using the priority visa service is optional and does not imply or guarantee that a visa application will be successful. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK Immigration...

Processing ACRO Referrals in Criminal Casework

The Framework Decision also allows for the exchange of criminal records information for other purposes, such as immigration or employment vetting, where this is permissible under the national law of the state providing the information. Generally, personal data provided under the Framework Decision can only be used for the purposes for which it was sought. However, any personal data may also be used to prevent a serious and immediate threat to public security, without the need to obtain permission from the other European Union (EU) Member State. When a foreign national is arrested in the UK, the police will request an overseas records check via the ACRO Criminal Records Office (ACRO). ACRO conducts such conviction checks with EU Member States and Non-EU Interpol Member Countries. The target country for the request is usually the individual’s country of nationality. It could also be to another country where they are known to have lived or travelled. Where an overseas check reveals serious offending, ACRO will refer the case to Criminal Casework (CC) for consideration of deportation action. Most checks are carried out under the Framework Decision but ACRO also have bilateral arrangements with a number of non-EU countries and can make a...