A senior British politician has made an urgent call to the British Government regarding the decision-making process on visas to visit the United Kingdom (UK) from Bangladesh.
The call comes from the Rt Hon Keith Vaz, and states that the decision-making process on visas to visit the United Kingdom to be returned from New Delhi to Dhaka.
Keith Vaz was responsible for the opening of the visa centre in Sylhet, Bangladesh, and for strengthening the visa arrangements when he was the Minister for Visas and Entry Clearance under Tony Blair.
He served in the British Parliament for 32 years until his retirement in December 2019.
The British politician raised his concerns at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and will raise his concerns further when he returns to the United Kingdom.
Keith Vaz said: "When the British Government established the first ever visa centre in Sylhet, Bangladesh, it was so that decisions could be made at a local level. It is simply not acceptable that people are asked to travel all the way to New Delhi, in a different country, in order to get any interviews processed. This creates an enormous economic burden on those seeking visas."
Mr Vaz was visiting Bangladesh as the chairman of a diabetes charity which held a diabetes camp in Moulvi Bazar, Sylhet. During his visit, he called on the prime minister, as well as the Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni.
On a recent visit to Sylhet, Mr Vaz discovered that the decision-making process no longer took place in Sylhet, nor in Dhaka, but that people had to travel to New Delhi in order to be interviewed.
"The decision-making process needs to be returned to Dhaka. In an ideal world, these decisions should be taken even more locally, in Sylhet. This is a promise made by previous Governments, and it should be upheld by the current Government."
"This is so much more important now that the amount of Bangladeshi diaspora in the United Kingdom has grown. There are now four Bangladeshis in the British Parliament," Vaz further added.