The Independent Monitor
The role of the Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals without the Right of Appeal was set out in section 23 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and amended by paragraph 27 of schedule 7 of the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002:
(1) The Secretary of State must appoint a person to monitor, in such a manner as the Secretary of State may determine, refusals of entry clearance in cases where there is, as a result of section 90 or 91 of the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002, no right of appeal.
(2) But the Secretary of State may not appoint a member of his staff.
(3) The monitor must make an annual report on the discharge of his functions to the Secretary of State.
(4) The Secretary of State must lay a copy of any report made to him under subsection before each House of Parliament.
The current Independent Monitor is John Vine who was appointed by the Secretary of State in April 2009. Mr Vine will carry out the remit on par with his wider functions as UK Border Agency Chief Inspector. You can read more about him at the Office of the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency website.
Independent Monitor: Frequently Asked Questions
On 18 November 2008 the previous Independent Monitor, Mrs Linda Costelloe Baker, gave oral evidence to the Home Affairs Committee regarding the mechanisms in place to monitor the work of the UKBA. The present incumbent also gave evidence at that session in his capacity as Chief Inspector. Please click on the link below to read the Committee's Report of that session, along with the Government’s responses to the recommendations.
Applications within the Independent Monitor’s remit:
Visitors: A visitor, other than a visit for the purpose of visiting a member of the applicant’s family as set out in the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2003;
Non family visitors constitute just over half of visa applicants. The term visitor may apply to someone coming to the United Kingdom for a private visit perhaps as a tourist or to see friends; someone who visits to transact business such as attending meetings and briefings, fact finding, negotiating or making contracts with UK businesses to buy or sell goods or services; someone who arrives at one UK port or airport and needs to be in the UK for longer than 48 hours or to transfer to another port or airport to continue a longer journey, or someone coming to the UK for privately funded medical treatment.
Student Visitors: Someone who wishes to study in the UK for less than six months, and who does not wish to work, or apply for an extension to their stay.
Students: Someone who intends to follow a course of study for which s/he has been accepted and which will not last more than six months.
Those intending to study but who have not been accepted for a course.
A dependant of a person in the two categories above.
Points Based System applications: All applications handled under the Points Based System as it is rolled out in 2008 and 2009.
The Independent Monitor monitors as directed by the Secretary of State. Those directions are:
• to examine the quality of decision making, within the spirit of fairness and consistency, in certain cases where, as a result of legislation, there is a limited right of appeal: this includes cases determined under the Points Based System;
• to ensure that correct procedures are used to reach decisions;
• to spend 3 months each year visiting entry clearance posts overseas;
• to examine the quality of information available to applicants with a limited right of appeal;
• to examine the quality of UK Border Agency's complaint procedures for applicants with a limited right of appeal;
• to submit an annual report on the discharge of these functions to the Secretary of State, who will lay a copy of the Report before each House of Parliament.
The Independent Monitor may make recommendations based on his findings. The Independent Monitor cannot investigate individual complaints or overturn a decision not to issue a visa.
John Vine QPM CBE
Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals
(without right of appeal)
Office of the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency
Floor 4, 8-10 Gt. George St,
London, SW1P 3AE
The Monitor makes annual formal reports to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. These are submitted to Parliament by Written Ministerial Statement. Access a full list of reports and UK Border Agency's response to the reports, published from 2005 to present.
As part of his remit the Independent Monitor visits UK Border Agency International Groups’ visa issuing offices overseas. Access a full list of reports published from July 2006 to present.
Access to annual reports written by previous Independent Monitors.
Latest themed report is listed below. Access a full list of themed reports published in 2008.