Part of the Home Office, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is responsible for vetting all those travelling to and from the United Kingdom.
Formed in 2008, it has its head offices on 2 Marsham Street, London, and is currently responsible for employing around 23,000 workers including those at home and abroad.
Following reforms in recent years, UKBA is responsible for immigration control, enforcement of the Customs and Excise act and removal of those living in the UK illegally. One of the most debated things in British politics at the moment, there are usually complaints from both sides of the argument regardless of what action UKBA take on the immigration, such is the level of sensitivity around the issue.
As asylum and visa applications are increasingly put under the spotlight by aspects of the media that consistently play up the dangers of immigration, UKBA is estimated to deport around 5,000 people per year, while also being accountable for prevention of the smuggling of illegal goods into the UK.
In 2013, it was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May that the body would be abolished, with the long term plan being that two separate bodies will take up the work – in the future, UK Visas and Immigration will deal with administration matters regarding moving in and out of the country, while another body will be responsible for enforcing immigration law. These moves are largely due to the number of complaints about UKBA, with a reported backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases still yet to be reviewed.