The UK Border Agency has announced it has stopped accepting student visa applications in North India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The suspension affects seven visa application centres:
- North India: New Delhi, Jalandhar, and Chandigarh;
- Bangladesh: Dhaka, Sylhet, and Chittagong; &
- Nepal: Kathmandu.
Announcing the suspension, UK Border Agency spokesman Jeremy Oppenheim said:
“The points-based system gives us the flexibility to act to maintain the integrity of the visa system, while processing legitimate applications fairly, thoroughly and as quickly as possible.
“We continually check and monitor all student applications and education providers to ensure that they meet the required standards set by the points-based system.
“As a result of this routine monitoring and an increase in applications, we have temporarily stopped accepting new applications from North India, Nepal and Bangladesh while we carry out an investigation to ensure they are all genuine.
“We will take tough action against those who attempt to abuse the system.”
The Financial Times quotes Sir Richard Stagg, the UK’s high commissioner to New Delhi, as saying there has been some evidence of abuse: “This temporary measure is designed to protect genuine students, professional agents and good education providers from anyone who is not currently playing by the rules,” he said.
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