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Crackdown on UK visa rule may stop fake students’ entry

world Updated: Jul 09, 2012 00:23 IST
Agencies
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Thousands of foreign students will be barred from Britain in a new crackdown on visas, which will be unveiled this week.

According to The Sun, those applying in colleges in the coming year may be asked to come for a face-to-face interview.

If they cannot speak English or prove they have been enrolled in for a course will not be allowed to let in with the border guards having extra powers to turn away arrivals if they have any doubts, the reports said.

Immigration Minister Damian Green told The Sun: "The message to bogus students is clear. We'll spot you and stop you cominga. We're no longer a soft touch."

About 300,000 student visas are handed out every year, but many of the applicants are bogus.

Due to the curbs, many international students have reportedly been deterred from considering Britain as a destination to study.

Some universities have reported a fall in applications from India, but the actual figures will be known later this year when the academic session begins.

As education and industry leaders petitioned Cameron with figures that international students bring 8 billion pounds annually to the British economy, The Sunday Times quoted a source at 10 Downing Street as saying: "The prime minister understands these arguments and is definitely considering a change of policy".

Immigration minister Damian Green has been using falling numbers of student visas granted (62% drop in student visas in the first quarter of 2012) as evidence that the Cameron government is on course to deliver its election pledge to reduce net immigration from ‘hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands’.

Green has consistently rejected arguments that international students should n ot be counted in net immigration figures because most of them return to their countries at the end of their studies. One of the changes that has reportedly put off Indian students is the closure of the post-study work visa in April.

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