UK Borders Agency suspends student visas from India, Nepal, Bangladesh

The UK Immigration Service, now known as “UK Borders Agency” has suspended the applications process for student visas from northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh after a dramatic upsurge in numbers and allegations of fraud.

The suspension will remain in place for at least one month while a backlog of applications is processed – but that period will be extended if necessary. During that time, applications will become subject to much greater scrutiny.

The problem appears to originate in the UK’s adoption of a points-based system which grants visas to anyone who can prove they have taken a place at a UK educational establishment.

There are several hundred universities and recognised places of higher education but they are not, it appears, what is fuelling a boom which has seen applications – and grants – soar by more than six and a half times in the past year.

The Borders Agency has noticed a problem that has existed for years, but has usually been used by Eastern Europeans and Africans in relatively small numbers: small tuition businesses that take on foreign students are commonplace, particularly language schools.

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