`Indians entering UK on false student visas’

Serious loopholes found in immigration rules

21st December 2009: The UK Border Agency’s claims of secure borders notwithstanding, media reports assert young Indians are entering Britain on falsely obtained student visas.

An investigation by The Sunday Times has, rather, found serious loopholes in immigration rules, which are potentially allowing thousands of young Indians to enter Britain the illegal way.

It is apprehended that many of the “students” finding their way through the false visas have no intentions of studying; and simply disappear after entering the UK.

The assertion comes at a time when the number of visas to Indian students has nearly doubled in the past year from 29,000 to 52,000.

According to the reports, the undercover reporters found foreign agents were offering would-be students £10,500 loans.

The amount was to be used by them to convince the UK Border Agency in their visa applications that they have enough money in their bank account to pay fees and support themselves in Britain.

The report assumes significance as students need 40 points to come to Britain under the point based system. A student gets 30 points for having a course offer from a college or university. The student gets another 10 for proving he can pay fees and support himself.

The money is to be handed back as soon as it has appears on bank statements for a month. A student has to pay an interest charge of seven per cent and £200 processing fee, which amounts to about £935.

After filming the investigation, The Sunday Times claimed it has established that the scam is operating widely in towns in Punjab; and threatens to undermine new Home Office immigration rules.

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