- United States
United Kingdom (UK) may have allowed more than 60,000 bogus students enter the country out of 141,700 in the year 2011 as claimed by Migration Watch UK. The report is based on UK Home Office three months pilot project suggesting about 44 percent of 2316 foreign students interviewed were bogus.
The Home Office said that the students deemed to be not genuine either were not financially strong to support their stay in UK or did not intend on studying at all. The office also said that some of the applicants intended on staying in the UK beyond their visa expiry limit.
The report compiled by the Migration Watch UK said that approximately 63,000 bogus students were granted student visa in the year 2011 owing to either the incompetence of immigration agencies or their ineligibility to refuse study visa. The possible bogus applicants data from the pilot study was used to calculate the overall fraudulent study visa applicants from each country.
Chairman of the Migration Watch Sir Andrew Green said that it was an undeniable fact now that the system has been and is being abused and the ones to suffer are the British citizens.
Sir Green said that proper inquiry measures regarding the intentions of the applicants must be taken so as to ensure that their intentions are not malicious. “If it is clear from the circumstances,” he said, “That a student is unlikely to go home, the visa should not be granted in the first place. After all, many of the advantages claimed for the foreign students depend on their going home after their studies.”
Sir Green continued to say that free movement of the citizens of the European Union (EU) countries among each other is bringing in more immigrants to Britain every year. He said that it was next to impossible for the UK government to deny these people entrance in the country as this would mean challenging the European Union and indirectly putting UK’s EU membership into jeopardy. The only way the situation can be contained, he said, is by restricting the number of Asian students coming to the United Kingdom to study in British colleges and Universities.
But this cannot be realized. At least not until the government can convince the Vice chancellors and businessmen, who strongly oppose the immigration rules applying on immigrant students as well. They say that the immigrant students are a huge source of income to the UK government and to the country’s economy and appeal the authorities to exclude them from such calculations.
Sir Green argues his stances on the basis that unlike United States, the United Kingdom does not have any system to ensure the proper exit of these students from UK. Hence, the possibility of them being excluded from the rules is remote.
On the other hand, in an attempt to reduce the number of bogus student cases, the UK Home Office is planning to recommence the student interview program. In fact currently the student applicants from Pakistan have to go through mandatory interview in order to be granted student visa though the highest percentage of bogus applications were filed in Burma and not Pakistan.
In a recent pilot program the UK Home Office concluded that the probability in any case of rejection of applicants of student visas would be 44 percent. In cases pertaining to most of South Asia, the probability of rejection rises up to 59 percent.
But even after successfully making such studies and getting to such definitive conclusions, the officers were not authorize to reject those applicants and had to grant them visas.
In response to such handicaps, the Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced that extensive reforms have been introduced in the immigration system, particularly to the authorities of the officers to reject the applications on reasonable doubt of the applicant’s intentions.
Despite of the fact that this sort of reforms might be able to decrease the number of bogus cases, another question has been raised as to the extent and standard of the authority of the officers to reject any application. For in this case the powers might be abused by the officers as well, and even eligible applicants might get rejected on account of biased judgment of the officers.
Tags: Damian Green, European Union, Migration Watch UK, Sir Andrew Green, Study abroad, Study in UK, Study visa, UK Home Office, UK study visa, United Kingdom