UKBA cracks down on bogus students at Birmingham Airport

Over 50 foreign nationals refused entry last year
27th January 2011: As a national consultation on reform of the student route to the UK draws to a close on 31 January, the UK Border Agency officers at Birmingham International Airport are cracking down on bogus students.
According to the UKBA, officers at the airport refused entry to over 50 foreign nationals last year, who attempted to enter the country on student visas.

The majority of bogus students stopped by UKBA officers at Birmingham International Airport are from Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan.

One of these bogus students, a Bangladeshi man, recently lost his appeal after he was refused entry and deported to Dhaka.

The UKBA said: `The 25-year-old attempted to use a forged document from a Birmingham college to pose as a student in order to obtain work in the UK.

`When he arrived at Birmingham International Airport, he presented a letter from South Birmingham College as evidence that he intended to study an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants course with General English.

`However, the immigration officer’s suspicions were aroused by the man’s very limited command of English.
`Checks were made with South Birmingham College who asked to undertake a telephone interview with the passenger in order to assess his English standard and his ability to study the course.

`The passenger was asked basic questions, including his personal details and about his educational background. The college advised that the passenger’s English ability was too limited in order for him to study the accountancy course.

`They also said they had no record of the passenger’s application and advised that the letter on South Birmingham College headed paper appeared to be forged.

`The passenger then admitted that he had obtained the college ‘admission’ letter from his brother-in-law, not from South Birmingham College. The passenger was refused leave to enter the UK and removed on a flight back to Dhaka.

`When back in Bangladesh, the passenger appealed against the decision to refuse him entry to the UK. The appeal was heard at an immigration tribunal on 23 December 2010.

The judge found that the letter which the passenger had provided from South Birmingham College was ‘to a high standard of probability not genuine because it has been word-processed on photocopied letterhead’.

Alex Lawther, UK Border Agency assistant director Birmingham Airport, added: ‘Our officers on the frontline are trained to spot those passengers that try to con their way into the UK with forged documents.

`The majority of bogus students stopped by UK Border Agency officers at Birmingham International Airport are from Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan. Intelligence on attempts to gain entry by fraud is routinely shared so that our officers overseas, at the border and in the UK can identify other would-be fraudsters.’

The public consultation on reform of the student visa closes on 31 January.

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