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UKBA apologizes over Indian immigrant harassment

The Home Office will retrain an immigration officer who harassed an Indian migrant worker at the border. 16 October 2008. Pooja Tandon, who has lived in the UK with her husband for the past four-and-a-half years, was stopped at Heathrow Airport in July. The former IT professional was questioned by an immigration officer about her job on her return from holiday.

She joined the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, but moved to a more flexible HR role after having a child – which is allowed under the HSMP scheme. The officer hold forth on finding alternative employment more suited to her credential and Pooja Tandon claimed she felt threaten.

In a letter to campaign group the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) Forum, the UK Border Agency apologised for the incident and said it could have been handled in a more "positive manner".

"The immigration officer who dealt with this incident has been interviewed, and it appears that he was not fully aware of the conditions attached to a HSMP visa," the letter stated.
"It is accepted that there is a training need in this particular instance, which will be addressed, and the immigration officer has accepted that they should have handled the situation differently and communicated with Mrs Tandon in a better way."

Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) Forum, which supports and assists skilled workers in the U.K., argued that British immigration officials harass and abuse highly skilled Indian workers returning from abroad trips.

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