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On cards, crackdown on bogus colleges

Student visa system being evaluated
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3rd August 2010:
Keeping in view the spectacular rise in the number of overseas students coming to UK, the government has planned to target the so called fake colleges. The government believed that these colleges were operating as ‘visa factories’.

Another step in this direction was evaluation of the student visa system to minimize abuse and tighten the system further.

The assertion comes even though more than 17,000 migrants won appeals last year at hearings where the Home Office was not allegedly represented. Five years ago, there were fewer than 1,500 such cases.

The Immigration Minister Damian Green in a statement issued recently pledged to crack down on bogus colleges. At the same time he guarded the Home Office record on immigration appeals, after a huge increase in the number of people who won, leave to remain – when no officials turned up in court.

In strong words, Green said that it was important to make sure that all those people should be removed, who had no right to be in this country.  He asserted that Britain had been too frequently a soft touch for illegal immigration. But the scene was no longer the same. 

As per the information available, the number of non-European students coming to Britain rose by more than 75,000 in the year to March, following introduction of Labour’s points system, which was designed to control immigration from outside Europe.

Some 313,011 non-EU students got visas, and brought 31,385 dependants with them. The number rose up from around 235,300 students and 24,800 family members in 2008.

Green also hinted towards some large-scale scams occurring. He said that they knew some bogus colleges had been set up to act efficiently as visa factories and were determined to cracked down.

The Home Office said officials were present at more than 90 per cent of the most serious cases. They added that the representation rates had improved to 69 per cent.

Green said the process was designed to ensure many cases could be decided from documents alone, without the need for representation.

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