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Colleges, sponsoring foreign students abusing visas, being probed

Under PBS colleges required to report absenteeism by foreign students 3rd February 2011: The colleges, sponsoring foreign students abusing student visas to travel to the UK for work, are being investigated for potential abuse of the immigration system.
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The UK Border Agency has asserted: “Under the points-based system, colleges are required to report absenteeism by foreign students to us. The colleges who sponsored these students are now being investigated for potential abuse of the immigration system”.

The assertion came after five Nepalese men, who abused student visas to travel to the UK for work, were removed from the country.

The men – aged from 22-26 years old – were caught by our officers working illegally at a car wash in Bury St Edmunds. All five men were returned to Nepal.

Dave Butler, chief immigration officer, Suffolk and North-East Essex local immigration team said: ‘All five of the men had cheated their way into the UK on false pretences.
Only one of them was doing any studying at all and even he was working well over the number of hours permitted.

‘This case sends out a message to immigration offenders that they will be caught and they will be quickly dealt with.’

The men were arrested by our officers on Wednesday last week when they were caught working at a car wash in Petticoat Lane, Bury St Edmunds.

The UKBA said: Immigration checks revealed all the men had student visas. They were all detained while arrangements for their removal were made.

The removals come as the Government considers proposals for tightening up the student route into the UK.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘I believe attracting talented students from abroad is vital to the UK but we must be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.
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‘People imagine that students come here for a few years to study at our universities and then go home – that is not always the case. Too many come to do courses below degree level as a cover for staying and working.

‘I have been turning over the stones in this area, and I have to report that some unpleasant things have crawled out. We need to stop this abuse.’

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