New targeted interviews for students
Ahead of the summer surge in student visa applications, UK Border Agency officers will be given new powers to interview international students and refuse visas if they are not satisfied the applicant is genuine, the Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced.
Across the globe high-risk applicants will be identified and asked a number of questions about their immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances.
The announcement follows a successful pilot carried out by the UK Border Agency last year to tackle concerns about the legitimacy of some applicants.
More than 2,300 student visa applicants were interviewed in 13 overseas posts with the aim of testing how effective face-to-face interviews and new refusal powers would be – in addition to existing strict application processes that consider fraud and other factors.
Under a further change now introduced, it will also be possible for an official to refuse entry to an applicant who fails to attend an interview without providing a reasonable explanation.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.