Non-EU students to face mandatory interviews at the British Embassies prior to visa approval
The British Government wants to decrease the number of students seeking a degree in their country. Over the coming year they are planning on interviewing between 10,000 and 14,000 students before granting them a student visa.
United Kingdom’s Immigration Minister Damian Green stated yesterday that “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 measure is meant to help them protect their high education institutions from unscrupulous agents and “those looking to play the system.” In a press release, the British authorities said that the power to refuse visas will supplement their student policies and become a safety tool to filter out the remaining abuse.
“We are toughening up the system to keep out the fraudulent and unqualified while ensuring genuine students benefit from our country's excellent education sector,” Mr. Green said.
The high-risk applicants will be identified by the British Embassies across the globe. They will be asked questions about the education and immigration history, as well as study and post-study plans or their financial resources.
The strategy was also applied last year. Almost one fifth of the students who applied were refused entry to the United Kingdom. The interviews prove that one of the main issues was the inability of students to demonstrate the necessary level of English.
The measure will affect all students coming from non-EU countries including Moldova.