The British Home Office does not specifically consider wealth of a Malawian applying for a visa in UK, Lord Bates told House of Lords after mounting pressure from members of parliament who criticised the “disproportionate” application regime.
According to the Hansard record seen by Nyasa Times, during discussing in the House of Lords. Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour) asked Her Majesty’s Government “what level of wealth or assets a citizen of Malawi has to have in order to be granted a visa to visit the United Kingdom.”
“The immigration rules apply to all non-EU nationals. For most visit visa categories, there are is no requirement to have specific levels of wealth or assets in order to be granted a visa,” he said.
Lord Bates said the ECO is required to make an overall assessment of the application which takes into consideration the personal circumstances of the applicant, and the ability of any sponsor to support them whilst in the UK.
“Affluence is not a specific consideration. Amongst other considerations, the ECO assess the overall genuineness of the applicant, whether they are likely to leave the UK at the end of their visit, whether they are able to be maintained and accommodated without recourse to working or taking public funds,” he explained.
“ In Points Based System categories (covering work and study categories) and Family Migration routes (covering applications to join family in the UK), there are specified financial requirements. These are set out in the immigration rules, which are published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules”
MPs in Westminster recently accused the British government of discriminating against visitors from Malawi who want to come to the UK.
They warn a new visa system has created a series of often insurmountable barriers to travel.
Malawi applicants are required to fill out a 15-page form, a separate online form, have that document counter-signed by their UK sponsor, send their passport for inspection and pay using a cashless system.
The MP and other critics are particularly critical of the final element, warning it is unrealistic in a country like Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :