Visa vignettes (FOI)
Visa vignettes (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 30 May 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Referring to a recent Jersey Evening Post article, "Scrutiny call for ‘visa vignettes’", from the 30 April 2023:
"Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles said, during a Scrutiny hearing this week, that producing vignettes would be ‘prohibitively expensive’ and that the difficulties experienced at airports had only affected a ‘very small number’ of people.
She added that she would instead focus on communicating with airlines about the use of the Jersey immigration stamp and consult with the UK Common Travel Area policy team."
Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles mentions that only a ‘very small number’ of people are affected by the Jersey immigration stamp. What are the actual number and percentage of skilled workers affected by this, that is, how many wet ink stamps have been issued from 2019 to 2023?
Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles mentions that this would be "prohibitively expensive". What was the budgeted cost and quoted cost to implement visa vignettes?
Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles mentions that they will focus on "communicating with airlines about the use of the Jersey immigration stamp and consult with the UK Common Travel Area policy team". What communication and consultations have taken place regarding this matter in the last year?
Between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2022, the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service (JCIS) endorsed approximately 2,600 passports using wet ink stamps to either vary or extend immigration permissions (some individuals will have received more than one endorsement during this period). 499 of those endorsements pertained to skilled work permit holders. JCIS have received notification from a very small number of individuals, approximately 0.5%, who have had difficulties in returning to the Common Travel Area. Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man immigration authorities all grant leave to remain using wet ink stamps.
It is not possible to provide a precise cost per person, per issue. However, it is estimated that initial set up costs for JCIS to issue vignettes or biometric resident permits would be between £120,000 and £200,000 due to the need for IT development and bespoke printing facilities meeting the security requirements and features of vignettes.
On 21 June 2022 the UK Home Office, on behalf of the Crown Dependencies, issued guidance to carriers worldwide highlighting that Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man immigration authorities grant leave to remain using wet ink stamps, and provided examples of those stamps. The guidance also made it clear that these wet ink stamps confer authority for travel to the United Kingdom and Islands without a need for a separate visa.
To improve the experience of passengers passing through UK ports of entry, immigration permissions granted in Jersey are now shared electronically with UK Border Force so that the status of travellers granted leave to remain in Jersey can be automatically accessed and confirmed.