Immigration inspectors have discovered a backlog of up to sixteen thousand cases at the UK Border Agency.
These include people who have been waiting for up to a decade to hear if their partners will be allowed to stay in the UK.
It is thought that the backlog was growing at around 700 cases per month, until inspectors discovered the problem.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said the agency was working to deal with issues inherited from the previous management.
The cases that were delayed were sent from a London based center to Sheffield, where they were effectively “dumped” in the offices.
Text: Fern Tomlinson