Securing the UK's Extended Borders
Client:UK Border Agency
- A more efficient and robust visa system was needed to control borders and address a growing number of applications.
- CSC implemented a single UK visa solution, incorporating advanced biometrics and identity management, within ambitious timescales.
- The overall project was completed three months ahead of schedule and under budget.
- The UK Border Agency has successfully transitioned to new ways of working and now has a single information record of each application.
The UK continues to be an important destination for trade, travel and investment. Pressures caused by an accelerating demand for visas have been exacerbated by problems associated with global immigration and the ever-present threat of international terrorism.
As a result the government announced it needed to strengthen border control by ensuring that all visa applicants gave their biometrics.
With an 8 percent growth in applications in just one year, the need for a more efficient and robust visa system was fundamental for the UK Border Agency. To meet the needs of applicants the UK Border Agency needed a robust border control process. They wanted to enable applications to be made over the web, by post, in person or via an agent in the country of origin.
Single UK visa solution
To achieve these goals, the UK Border Agency enlisted CSC to implement a single UK visa solution, incorporating advanced biometrics and identity management, within ambitious timescales.
Key to the success of the project was CSC’s ability to apply lessons learnt from implementing visa systems in Europe and the United States. This experience enabled CSC to develop suitable processes during the nine month bid approval process in order to advise the UK Border Agency. Based on the success of their consulting early on in the bid process, we were empowered to find suitable premises, recruit staff and determine optimum process flow across each facility.
After a rigorous selection process, the UK Border Agency signed a five-year BPO agreement with CSC in February 2007 to run part of its global operations. A new service was launched – under the CSC-owned brand, ‘WorldBridge” – which provides UK visa applicants with visa and immigration customer services, information and assistance.
Under the WorldBridge banner, CSC established 30 Visa Application Centres (VACs) in 14 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, North Africa and the Middle East. It provides information services through websites, email and multilingual call centres to an additional 87 countries.
Better, more informed decisions
The ambitious rollout plan of secure biometrics collection to Visa Application Centres around the world has been a huge success. The overall project was completed three months ahead of schedule and under budget. The UK Border Agency has successfully transitioned to new ways of working and now has a single information record of each application, which has significantly enhanced control over national borders.
“We’re delighted that our ambitious plan has been met and that the contract and the governance structure is working well. More importantly the partnership with CSC has developed in a way which means that we’re working together effectively and solving issues as they occur,” says Geoff Lockwood, programme manager, UK Border Agency.