We were scammed by UK Visa and Immigration in October 2011. Having received the smooth sales patter, we parted with £900 on the promise of help with a spouse visa application. Once the money had been paid over, all communication from UKVI stopped. But, we were persistent, and made daily communication with them until at last a contract was emailed to us (albeit in the wrong name). We refused to electronically sign the contract until it had the correct name on it, we requested a receipted invoice for our payment of £900. The contract duly received in the correct name, the receipted invoice in a different name, we still refused to sign a contract until the receipted invoice was corrected. Exhausting!
Moving swiftly on, all communication ceased once more, but we were on the case. To cut a long story short, we completed a draft copy of the visa application ourselves, only for someone at UKVI to key it into the UKBA computer system, including several mistakes which we had to correct. We received a shoddy copy of what looked like a crib sheet from UKBA of all the supporting documents we needed to collect which we did and duly submitted to them.
At this point, we were wondering why we had paid £900 for a service which we were clearly not getting, so we sent in a complaint. The complaint was not answered, so another complaint was sent, again unanswered. We wrote reviews of our experience with UK Visa and Immigration on various websites, we tweeted warnings to others not to use this “service”. Lo and behold, we hit a raw nerve, because we triggered a response from the PR and Marketing Manager and there the smooth patter began again. The end result of conversations with this manager was an immediate refund of £900 and a request that all our negative reviews were removed from the various sites.
The purpose of this blog is to warn others seeking help with a UK Visa application to check the background of any company they are thinking of using, check review sites, visit company premises, do not part with any money until you have received and thoroughly read a contract which you are happy to sign.
Do not forget, UKBA information and advice is FREE.
UK Visa Specialists Ltd trading as UK Visa and Immigration is no longer OISC accredited and is now operating under the name Global Immigration Consultants Ltd trading as UK Immigration Barristers . In all probability they are using other names as well.
In the Matter of UK VISA SPECIALISTS LIMITED
(Company Number 07221022)
A Petition to wind up the above-named Company, Registration Number 07221022, of Newland House 4th Floor, 137-139 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8UApresented on 31 May 2012 by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, of Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4RD, claiming to be Creditors of the Company, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, 7 Rolls Buildings, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL, on23 July 2012, at 1030 hours (or as soon thereafter as the Petition can be heard).
The Bar Council has recently published detailed guidance for barristers explaining that any instructions accepted on the basis of a referral arrangement with an introduction agency will breach the Bar Code of Conduct. UKIB is an unregulated referral agency. Therefore, any barrister(s) who receive(s) work via UKIB will probably do so in breach of the Code of Conduct. In this case, a complaint to the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Council against the barrister concerned would be appropriate.
Research has revealed that clients who contact UKIB are only ever referred to a barrister at ‘King’s Court Chambers’.
Be warned, there are unscrupulous agents out there willing to take your money and run.
If you want to apply for a UK Visa, do your homework and don’t fall for scammers. Do some research, don’t lose your money or documents, there are some very sorry tales out there for the reading.
Posted below is an amalgamation of reviews collected from various websites, make your own mind up as to whether to pick up that phone and hand over your credit card details:
“This is the worst service you could possibly pay for I to am expriencing the same problems I paid 1000 pounds for an application to be sent to the Home Office and the case worker clearly used somebody elses application and just copy and pasted my name over somebody elses as when I requested a copy of the application it had somebody elses name as well as mine on it and had to be redone. Since sending my application I got a random email from them stating my case was being moved to another company however that never happened and when I finally manged to contact them about it I was told my case worker and his PA had left the company. I have not been able to et in contact with them now since May the number has been removed from the website and I get no replys from emails.”
“If it was possible to give UK Visa and Immigration zero stars, I would. Never, ever in my life have I come across such an incompetent bunch of people, who are paid to provide ‘professional and expert help’ on matters of immigration. It is all lies and they are complete scammers who have absolutely NO IDEA how the UK Home Office/Border Agency works and certainly are no help what so ever in assisting one secure any sort of visa. The ONLY thing they were quick to do was to take my money!”
“I have had to cancel my application twice already because their timelines are completely unrealistic, and the most recent time has been the worst: I have six call-back requests, two emails, and a formal letter from my solicitor asking for my documents to be returned. I have never received ANY contact from them other than a single generic email confirmation nearly 3 weeks ago. The last call I made, where I asked for a call-back before the close of the business day or I would be forced to involve a solicitor, they hung up on me”
“Under NO circumstances don’t deal with them they are fraudsters “
“My partner and i have just completed a visa application with these people and in the beginning uk visa and immigration were well enthusiastic they charged us 1200 to be passed to kings court chambers barristers who they ensured would give us great service, this is what didnt happen.”
“I will be going to court, I am not going to let it go.”
See Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UKVisaAdvice for more information. We would be pleased to receive your comments.
This Facebook page has either been removed or blocked, presumably the truth hurts profits for these organisations.
See Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/UK-Barristers-Scam
This Facebook page has either been removed or blocked, are we too close to exposing more than just the companies names in this and other blogs?
See Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/UK-Visa-Barristers-Scam/455625754480455
A reminder about UK Immigration Barristers
While UK Visa and Immigration was regulated before losing its licence, UK Immigration Barristers has never been regulated.
It is a criminal offence to give immigration advice unless those giving advice are legally qualified or the company is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
But secret recording carried out by the BBC shows UK Immigration Barristers giving immigration advice through an unqualified advisor, to an actress who posed as a potential customer.
The OISC – which regulates the industry – says it is investigating and has the power to bring prosecutions.
Mr Akhtar, the director of UK Immigration Barristers, has launched an internal inquiry into the matter and says the employee concerned has been suspended.
He said his firm acts as a broker between barristers and clients and does not provide any “legal advice or services to its clients”.
Mr Akhtar said: “I use the services of a few call centres to handle all the calls for my company… The call centre has a strict zero policy regarding giving immigration advice.”