British MPs have warned that the UK visitor visa system is “broken” and doing “severe damage” to UK-Africa relations. The Guardian

The problems faced by experts trying to visit the UK are so widespread that many Africans believe the Home Office to be prejudiced against them and deliberately trying to reduce visitor numbers.

After six months taking evidence from people working across a range of sectors, cross-party parliamentary groups for Africa, Malawi and diaspora, development and migration report that UK visitor visas are « inaccessible to many Africans, under-resourced, unaccountable and widely perceived as biased or even discriminating against Africans ».

One problem faced by visa applicants was being required to travel hundreds of miles simply to apply for a visa. Another was financial discrimination, such as people being rejected because they don’t have enough money in their bank accounts.

This was given as a refusal reason even where all expenses were being paid by British sponsors. The lack of an appeals system was also cited as a major problem, meaning that the only way to challenge a refusal is to begin again with a costly new application.