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Originally published Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 3:37 AM

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UK immigration inspector slams application backlog

Britain's chief immigration inspector says he has found thousands of unresolved applications stretching back a decade - including boxes of paperwork forgotten after an office move.

The Associated Press

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LONDON —

Britain's chief immigration inspector says he has found thousands of unresolved applications stretching back a decade - including boxes of paperwork forgotten after an office move.

John Vine says the trove of more than 16,000 unprocessed applications for permission to live in Britain is "completely unacceptable." The cases involve applications by spouses of British citizens.

About 2,100 applications were in boxes transferred between offices, and some dated back nearly a decade.

Vine said Thursday that "for people to wait such a substantial time ... is unacceptable."

The government says most of the cases have now been dealt with.

It is the latest setback for the beleaguered U.K. Border Agency. In 2011, it emerged that border guards had eased checks on people entering the country to reduce lines at airports.

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