Government Survey Helps to Tackle Bogus Student Visa Problem

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16th July 2012 15:35 - Central Government

According to the latest government survey by the Home Office, a third of visas that have been given to overseas students should never have been issued as they "lack credibility".

Investigators discovered up to 70,000 foreign undergraduates and two-thirds of those at private colleges were considered to have submitted dubious applications.

Some of the countries that stood out most were India and Nigeria, from which three out of five student visas were found to be suspicious. In addition, bogus applications have also been made from the Philippines (53%), China, (32%) and Kenya (16%). None have been received from America or Canada however.

The survey, which questioned almost 2,000 students that have been granted visas under the current immigration rules, forms part of a crackdown on study visas that have for many years been abused due to paperwork being the sole criteria for applications rather than face-to-face interviews.

It has been discovered that despite many foreign students having certificates showing they are qualified at speaking English, hundreds could not answer the most basic questions during interview without an interpreter.

The top three reasons that the Home Office gave for the lack of credibility in student visa applications were the intention to remain in Britain, failure to speak any English and no desire to complete a degree.

The Immigration Minister Damian Green has recently announced that the UK Border Agency will interview up to 14,000 students to weed out those who are in Britain on false claims.

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