Britain plans more face-to-face visa interviews for students
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, Dec 13: Britain today said it would increase the number of face-to-face students interviews instead of just paper checks after a pilot study found abuse of the country's student visa system in Pakistan.
"The philosophy is clear. Overseas students are welcome to the UK but we would like to wipe out the abuse of the system," British Business Secretary Vince Cable said today.
His clarification came a day after Home Secretary Theresa May informed the House of Commons that she had instructed the border agency to undertake pilots in which high-risk student visa applicants would be interviewed, rather than undergo the usual paper-based checks.
"Starting first in Pakistan and moving to other countries, more than 2,300 prospective students were interviewed. The lesson from that pilot was clear - abuse was rife, paper-based checks weren't working and interviews, conducted by entry clearance officers with the freedom to use their judgement, work," May said.
The Home Secretary announced that "from today, we will extend radically the border agency's interviewing programme. Starting with the highest-risk countries, and focusing on the route to Britain that is widely abused, student visas, we will increase the number of interviews to considerably more than 100,000, starting next financial year."
"From there, we will extend the interviewing programme further across all routes to Britain, wherever the evidence takes us. I believe this new approach will help us to root out the abuse of British visas, and improve the integrity of our immigration system," she said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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