Immigration campaigners have filed a lawsuit to determine how the Home Office algorithm, which filters out applications for a UK visa actually works

This is the court’s first attempt to establish how an artificial intelligence program affects immigration policy decisions regarding entry into the country.

The newly created Foxglove advocacy group for justice in the new technology sector has supported the Joint Immigration Welfare Council (JCWI) initiative to force the Home Office to explain on what basis the algorithm “sorts” visa applicants.

Both groups said they fear that the “sorting tool” using artificial intelligence has created three channels for applicants, including a “quick channel” that leads to “priority visas for white people.”

Home Office insists that the algorithm is only used to sort submitted applications. It claims that the final decision rests with people, not artificial intelligence.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "We have always used processes that allow British immigration authorities to efficiently distribute immigration cases."

Corey Crider, director of Foxglove, refutes Home Office's statement.

“Home Office insists that its visa issuing algorithm does not have racial bias, but that is far from true. The system distributes the applicants in a green, yellow and red channels according to nationality - and it is easy to guess who will be in the green line and who is not that lucky. It's illegal".

Home Office claims the new system is fully compliant with the 2010 Equality Act.

He added that out of more than 3.3 million applications for a visa to the UK, by the end of June this year, 2.9 million people have received the right to enter the UK.

Posted on Oct 30, 2019.

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