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Arrogance in our Moscow UK Embassy
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Author:  wiz [ 08 Apr 2009 21:08 ]
Post subject:  Arrogance in our Moscow UK Embassy

Arrogance in our Moscow UK Embassy

Dr Jan Culik's letter (20 March) will ring bells with the many who have similarly suffered from arrogant and incompetent decisions by the visa-issuing authorities at our Moscow embassy.

Last year, after refusals to two of our nieces, blood-relatives of my wife, on spurious grounds, the authorities finally relented after a personal letter from me to the then-ambassador and the involvement of lawyers in London. Visas were issued for one month (not the normal six), which surprised those checking documents as they boarded their flight in Moscow and the passport-controller at Heathrow.

The day the nieces arrived, I had a letter from UK Visas in the Foreign Office, in March 2008, saying my complaint about my family's treatment would be investigated and I would be informed of the outcome. I am still waiting.

Professor George Hewitt FBA

Reply from the Ambassador Anne Pringle

I was sorry to read the letter from Dr Jan Culik, expressing disappointment at the service from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) at the British embassy in Moscow. UKBA staff in Russia dealt with over 140,000 visa applications during 2008, and approximately 94 per cent were issued. The large numbers of applicants mean there is always pressure to strike a balance between first-rate customer service, and maintaining the integrity of the UK's immigration control, which is what the UK public expects.

Staff is limited, and time spent answering phone calls means time spent away from dealing with applications. UK Data Protection legislation also means we can't discuss someone's application with a third party, without their written consent. This is why we encourage customers to visit our website ( so they can see how to make a visa application and encourage contact by email, rather than by phone.

Our surveys show high customer satisfaction. But we are not complacent, and we are continually looking at how we can make the visa process more effective.

Ambassador Anne Pringle

British Embassy, Moscow

From The Independent newpaper ... 54166.html

An object lesson in civil service non-speak.

She doesn't answer any questions or address any of the issues raised, she merely gives a bunch of useless and meaningless stats to "prove" how well they're doing their job. Exactly the same as any politician.

These are stonewalling comments because they don't allow for any dissent or argument.

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