Our service and values
This page sets out our values and describes the level of service that our customers can expect from us.
You can also find out what we expect from our customers.
Our service to customers
We aim to provide a high level of service for all our customers. As a customer you can expect that:
- our staff and our business partners' staff (whether in the UK or overseas) will be thorough and polite, and will treat you with dignity;
- the information we provide will be in plain language, accurate and meeting your needs;
- we will process applications in line with our published delivery standards;
- we will provide you with a detailed response to an enquiry or complaint;
- if we refuse your application, we will give you a clear and detailed explanation of why we refused it and details of whether and how you can appeal;
- we will keep your personal details confidential and handle information about you in line with the Data Protection Act 1998* and our information charter, which you can find under 'Related documents' on the right side of this page;
- we will deal with requests for information in line with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000, whichever is applicable;
- we will give you the opportunity to give us feedback on our services and to complain if necessary - we will use your feedback to improve our services; and
- where possible, we will resolve any complaints immediately or pass them on to the appropriate person to resolve.
* There are instances when we may share your information with third parties, but only if this is lawful and necessary in the exercise of our functions or those of the third party. We may also use the information that you provide for training purposes.
Our customer service standards
When you visit our premises, you can expect that you will:
- be in a safe and comfortable environment;
- be dealt with by staff in uniform or dressed appropriately for their role, in line with our values (see below); and
- be seen within a reasonable time, if you have an appointment.
When you contact us by post or email, you can expect that we will answer your question or respond to your comment. You can also expect that any replies will:
- be in clear, plain language;
- be correctly addressed and accurate; and
- include a contact telephone number.
When you visit our website and our business partners' websites, you can expect that:
- the information will be up to date and accurate; and
- you will be able to contact us by email through the website.
If you contact us by phone, you can expect that our staff will:
- explain why they may need to put you on hold or transfer you to another number;
- note any comments about our services, and pass them to the relevant person to be dealt with;
- treat you politely and in a professional way, in line with our values (see below); and
- provide you with the correct information.
The Home Office values state that:
- we deliver for the public;
- we are professional and innovative;
- we work openly and collaboratively; and
- we treat everyone with respect.
In delivering our business to our diverse society and to everyone who uses our services, we will assess the impact of our policies to ensure that there are no unlawful adverse impacts on the grounds of race, religion and belief, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or age. When dealing with children, we will take account of the need to safeguard and promote their welfare.
We aim to:
- employ a workforce that reflects, at all levels, the diversity of society as a whole; and
- treat all our staff and customers with dignity and respect.