Wednesday, 2 December 2015

College fraud claim: Payments to a Cardiff campus and its students were suspended

A recruiter for West London Vocational Training College in Cardiff said they could cheat their way to receiving thousands of pounds, Recruiter, Kazi Shajahan offered to sell coursework needed for qualifications.

It prompted Education Minister Huw Lewis to suspend payments to West London Vocational Training College and to its Cardiff students.

The college, based on the city's Greyfriars Road, has nearly 100 IT and business students. Those on Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) can receive up to £17,000 a year in loans and grants, which will only be repaid when they earn more than £21,000 annually.

One of the journalists faked a GCSE certificate and applied for funding which was approved. Another potential student, who does not want to be identified, says Mr Shajahan offered him the chance to take part. "He was offering £10,000 student finance plus the grant," he claimed.

Also College principal Dr Manoj Kumar is revealed to have faked his Cambridge University PhD and teaching certificates

Courtesy: BBC Wales presenter Tim Rogers and the Week In Week Out team uncovered the allegations Week In Week Out is on BBC One Wales at 22:40 GMT on Tuesday, 1 December

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

UK Student Visa - New Changes for International Students - 2015, November

On 12th November 2015 the following rules changed for international students


1.. Tier 4 (General) students studying at colleges (private or public) can no longer extend their stay in Tier 4 or switch into any other points-based route (Such as Tier 2 or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)), unless they are studying at a college which UKVI classes as an “embedded college”. There is no change for students attending a university.

2. The length of time that a Tier 4 (General) student may spend studying further education courses (i.e. courses at National Qualifications Framework levels 3-5 and equivalents) will be reduced from three years to two.

3. All Tier 4 students who are extending their visa or applying for a new visa will need to show they have maintenance funds for the duration of their course or 9 months whichever is shorter. Previously if a student had been in the UK for 6 months or more (i.e. already studying) a reduced rate applied, as they were deemed to have “established presence.”

4. The area in which Tier 4 students have to demonstrate a higher ‘London’ level of funds is being expanded to include the University of London or institutions wholly or partly within the area comprising the City of London and the Former Metropolitan Police District.



Note:
Study UK (An association for independent providers of higher education, further education and professional training) estimates that over the next 3 years each institution would loss £210 000 rising to average loss of £337 000 by 2017

*About the survey: Study UK’s 135 members, of which 56 responded, 34 colleges said they would suffer “significant financial losses” over the next three years because of the changes.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

All part-time work rights for non-EU students studying at publicly funded colleges to be abolished

It is expected that the scrapping of work rights for non EU students will be enforced from August and the other changes to be implemented in Autumn,

The summary of changes
  • Non-EU students at publicly funded colleges lose right to work for up to 10 hours a week, matching rule for those at privately funded colleges
  • The length of further education visas will be reduced from three years to two.
  • FE college students will not be able to stay and work in UK when they finish their course, unless they leave the country first (will be exempted if they are registered at an institution with a formal link to a university)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa 2015 / 2014

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa 2015 / 2014



With the implementation of Immigration Act 2014, a New health surcharge is to be introduced from next month, further with the introduction of Immigration act 2014, the appeal rights in most cases will be replaced by a system of administrative review also landlords will be required to check the immigration status of prospective tenants (ie students)

Below is a summary of new student visa rules / changes (2014/ 2015), new changes to Immigration Act 2014 and other reviews

Introduction of the Immigration Health Charge –From 6th April, 2015 
For all immigration applications made on or after the 6 April 2015.

The immigration health surcharge will cost:
  • £150 for students and their dependants 
  • £200 for other applicants e.g. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 and Tier 5 Youth Mobility 

The sum is an annual amount and you will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave at the point you apply for your visa. For example, an undergraduate student will pay an extra £450 at the time of their student visa application to UK. This additional charge is mandatory failure to pay can lead to your visa being refused.

The following groups are exempt:
  • Entry clearance applications for 6 months or less; 
  • Visitor visa applications (except the extended Student Visitor route) 
  • Nationals of Australia and New Zealand, and British Overseas Territories Citizens who are resident in the Falkland Islands.


    No more Appeals - Appeals replaced with Administrative Review
    For Tier 4 applications made on or after 20 October 2014, the Appeals process for refusals has been replaced by Administrative Review (AR). An AR is when the Home Office reviews the decision-making process made by the caseworker when considering the application. It is not a legal process handled by the Immigration Tribunal

    Administrative review requires a payment of £80 for a single decision, or a decision on applications by a main applicant and dependants. It must be refunded if the outcome of the administrative review is that the decision is withdrawn.

    More detail on administrative review could be found here


    Increase in visa application fees from April 2015 
    • The new fees will be as below: 
    • Tier 4 (General) application outside the UK - £322 
    • Tier 4 (General) standard application in Country (in UK) - £439 
    • Tier 4 (General) premium application - £839 
    • Student Visitor - £85 
    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) in the UK - £456 
    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) outside the UK - £335


    New Visa Issue Procedure (Out of Country Applications)
    The UK Government is changing the way that it issues permission for people to come to the UK (UK Student Visa) from abroad for more than six months.

    When you apply for your Tier 4 visa, you will be granted with an endorsement in your passport (vignette or sticker inside your passport) which is your visa to enter the UK. If your visa is granted for a period of 6 months or more, you will only be given a 30-day visa in your passport as a leave to enter the UK. You must arrange to enter the UK within that 30 day period. Along with your visa and passport, you will also receive a written notification (or decision letter) informing you to collect a longer term visa from a designated Post Office branch once you have arrived in the UK. Your long term visa is called a biometric residence permit (BRP) and is in the form of a credit card sized card with a chip which will contain your biometric information.

    Timetable for BRP roll-out

    As this is a new procedure for UK visa applications made outside the UK, it is currently not compulsory for everyone to have a BRP. This new procedure will be introduced in stages and the estimated roll-out will affect UK visa applications made in the following countries as follows:

    Phase 1 – 18 March 2015 - Pakistan

    Phase 2 - Mid April 2015 (estimated, subject to the exact date legislation comes into force)

    Armenia
    Cambodia
    Estonia
    Iceland
    Laos
    Nepal
    Bangladesh
    China
    Finland
    India
    Libya
    Netherlands
    Bhutan
    Cyprus
    Germany
    Indonesia
    Maldives

    Burma
    Denmark
    Gibraltar
    Italy
    Malta


    Phase 3 - 31 May 2015

    Afghanistan
    Bermuda
    Falkland Islands
    Malaysia
    Philippines
    Taiwan
    Ascension Island
    Brunei
    Fiji
    Mongolia
    Qatar
    Trinidad & Tobago
    Australia
    Canada
    Guyana
    New Zealand
    St Helena
    United Arab Emirates
    Bahamas
    Cayman Islands
    Iran
    Nigeria
    St Lucia
    USA
    Bahrain
    Dominican Republic
    Jamaica
    Oman
    Singapore
    Yemen
    Barbados
    Egypt
    Japan
    Papua New Guinea
    South Korea


    Phase 4 - 31 July 2015 - Rest of the world

    Finally, a brief guide on how to apply for UK Student Visa
    (The Requirements for Tier 4 General Student Entry Clearance: How to make your application)

    Before making any type of application for immigration permission, you should read the appropriate current Tier 4 General policy guidance thoroughly.

    • Obtain your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your University
    • Check if you need an ATAS clearance certificate,  (ATAS clearance is required for some taught postgraduate and many science and technology related research subjects.)
    • Obtain appropriate evidence to meet the maintenance/ funding requirements.
    • Complete the relevant visa application form Online (Unless you are a national of Cuba or North Korea)
    • If you wish to bring your family member(s) or partner with you as a Dependant, please remember to include them in your application. Please read the PBS Dependent Guidance on the additional maintenance requirements for Dependants.
    • As a part of your Tier 4 visa application (UK Student Visa Application), you may be required to attend an interview with the UK Home Office /UK Embassy or High Commission

    Friday, 30 January 2015

    65 Colleges Licences Revoked, 600 Plus Students Removed or Detained

    Last yearThe UK government revoked the licences of 54 plus private colleges, since then, according to Home Office sources more than 1,600 enforcement visits have been made and over 600 individuals have been served removal notices or detained in relation to curtailment of student visa matters

    Amid upcoming elections the number one issue has become Immigration according to the recent opinion polls and pressure has flown down from political hierarchy to authorities such as UKVI to exercise more grip on Immigration, also additional measures has been introduced to crack down on bogus students which included recent measures such as mandatory landlord checks on tenants’ immigration status, which are currently being trialled in the West Midlands.

    One of the trigger in this ongoing crack down is with fraud in English language testing system detected last year - now more than 33,725 invalid TOEIC test results have been reported by ETS Global to the Home Office, along with 22,694 questionable results – up from 19,000 and 29,000 respectively at the time of the original announcement and investigation.

    Crack down on student visa scams is not unique to UK it is a common trend in many countries, in Australia the number of student visas cancelled by the Australian government has more than tripled in the last two years (according to The Australian that student visa cancellations more than doubled from 1,978 in 2012 to 4,940 in 2013, rising again to 7,061 in the last financial year) as instances of falsified test results and/or financial documents have soared, we reckon this trend is not only purely on irregularities on student front and private tier institutions but also stems largely from the popular dis comfort of Immigrants in the wider society thus has become a political issue

    We at UKEducationForAll.com kindly urge that all Sponsors who take students from institutions whose licences have been revoked will need to undertake their normal compliance checks and there is no reason in principle why they should not accept such students who have not, individually, been found to be at fault

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