Indians Among 200 Arrested in UK for Overstaying Visas

Operation Magnify involved raids at 253 properties in Leicester and London to nab illegal immigrants or those overstaying their visa.


Several Indian citizens were arrested in an anti-immigration drive called Operation Magnify from January to June in the UK. A total of 200 people have been arrested so far, which includes officials from various agencies. Operation Magnify involved raids at 253 properties in Leicester and London, all housing individuals who were either overstaying their visa or had entered the country illegally.

Landlords got slapped with fines up to £3,000 for every illegal worker found as their tenant. Licences of restaurants where illegal immigrants worked also came under review. Restaurants were also fined penalties of £80,000 when the employer failed to demonstrate proper right-to-work documents, according to the news website, ChronicleLive.

Indians Top Illegal Immigrants List

Indians top the list of illegal immigrants, with more than 100,000 people, a top UK functionary told the Hindustan Times. It is twice the number of the people from Nigeria, the next country on the list.

Other countries with workers who overstayed their visas include Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Albania. They were offered support to leave the country voluntarily, the publication reported, citing a source. Some Indians accepted.

The issue of Indians overstaying their visas or entering the country illegally has been on top agenda of India-UK relations. The UK government has been keen to expedite the process of identifying illegal immigrants and returning them to their countries.

Official Talks

In her 2016 India visit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May had talked of improving the visa offer to Indians, so that the process of illegal Indian immigrants who have no right to live and work in the country is expedited.

This issue will be taken up again during Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis’ visit to India later this year. It also featured in the recent talks between home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and the home office in London.

“These operations show that we will not tolerate people living and working illegally in the UK. Illegal working cheats the taxpayer, has a negative impact on the wages of lawful workers and allows rogue employers to undercut legitimate businesses. Those unscrupulous landlords flout the rules by knowingly renting property to illegal migrants as an easy source of profit,” Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said.

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