UK Border Agency (UKBA)
UK Border Agency (UKBA)
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UK Border Agency (UKBA)

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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) was the border control agency of the Government of the United Kingdom and part of the Home Office that was superseded by UK Visas and Immigration, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement in April 2013. It was formed as an executive agency on 1 April 2008 by a merger of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), UKvisas and the detection functions of HM Revenue and Customs. The decision to create a single border control organisation was taken following a Cabinet Office report.

The agency's head office was 2 Marsham Street, London. Rob Whiteman became Chief Executive in September 2011. Over 23,000 staff worked for the agency, in over 130 countries. It was divided into four main operations, each under the management of a senior director: operations, immigration and settlement, international operations and visas and law enforcement.

The agency came under formal criticism from the Parliamentary Ombudsman for consistently poor service, a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases, and a large and increasing number of complaints. In the first nine months of 2009–10, 97% of investigations reported by the Ombudsman resulted in a complaint against the agency being upheld. The complainants were asylum, residence, or other immigration applicants.

In April 2012, the border control division of the UKBA was separated from the rest of the agency as the Border Force. On 26 March 2013, following a scathing report into the agency's incompetence by the Home Affairs Select Committee, it was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May that the UK Border Agency would be abolished and its work returned to the Home Office. Its executive agency status was removed as of 31 March 2013 and the agency was split into three new organisations; UK Visas and Immigration focusing on the visa system, Immigration Enforcement focusing on immigration law enforcement and Border Force, providing immigration and customs law enforcement at ports of entry in the UK.

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