The UK government could turn to mobile marketing technologies in an effort to get on top of immigration control.

Among measures proposed by the Home Office, visitors to the country would receive a text message reminding them when their visa is due to expire.

A Home Office spokesperson told AP the messages would be similar to those sent by banks to customers whose accounts are about to be closed.

A three-month trial is reportedly due to begin in April, but shadow home secretary David Davis criticised the idea.

"It is all rather extraordinary," he said. "The idea that somebody who is about to overstay or who is overstaying will change his mind because somebody sends him a text message seems to be something out of this world."

He said the government would "spam them with text messages" rather than deal with illegal immigrants properly. But home secretary John Reid said the SMS plan was a "tiny" element among wider reforms.


Published 7 March, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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Comments (1)


Ravinder Singh, Lead Advisor at Kulwant Advisory

I think its a radical move. There is nothing wrong in reminding people about their visa expiration. There are some genuine cases where people do forget and this service would be a boon to them reminding them in time.

As for illelegal immigrants it acts partially as a detterant telling them "big brother" is watching you.

As home secretary says its an lememnt not the whole strategy.This is not an issue which can be solved with one solution. It takes creating synergies between all the resources which are available. Being a radical and new move time will be a best measure of its success or failure.

over 11 years ago

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