More Indians studying than from any other country, except China
15th December 2009: Indians have been issued more student visas than ever before. In fact, over 50,000 student visas were issued to the Indians this year; and now there are more Indians studying in the UK than from any other country, except China.
Reacting to news-reports carried in a section of media in India, Sir Richard Stagg, British High Commissioner, New Delhi, said it was wrong to suggest that the UK’s immigration policies were designed to prevent non-whites from coming to the UK and were specifically targeted at Asians.
Describing the claim as extraordinary, offensive and absolutely untrue, he said the UK’s policies were global and applied in a uniform manner across the world regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or skin colour.
Refuting the claim that Britain was “selectively shutting its borders to non-whites”, he said 70 per cent of our total Tier 2 (work permit) visas were issued to Indian nationals in the last 12 months. In that same period more than 50 per cent of all Intra Company Transfers were issued to Indian nationals.
He added they strongly encourage inward investment in the UK’s economy and the entry of foreign workers with the skills they needed. The same policies applied as much to Americans, Canadians and Australians as they do to Indians.
Responding to another set of claims in the media that Pakistanis were more likely to be refused visas, the UK Border Agency Chief Executive Lin Homer said: ‘We do not discriminate against any individual nationality, to suggest otherwise is false. Applications from Pakistan are assessed in the same manner and against the same immigration rules as applications from every other nationality.
‘I am confident that we operate a firm and fair visa operation. It is the UK Border Agency’s responsibility to prevent entry to the UK those who do not meet our entry criteria while welcoming legitimate trade and travel.
‘Entry clearance officers consider each visa application on its individual merits and will refuse an application where they are not satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements of the visitor rules.
‘It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they meet these rules and provide sufficient evidence to support their application. Any person who has been refused a family visit visa may have the right to appeal against the decision.
‘The work of the whole UK Border Agency, including the visa operation, is subject to scrutiny and oversight by the independent Chief Inspector, John Vine.’