Tuesday, October 11, 2011

30% of student applications to UK from Delhi forged: Cameron

More than a third of student applications verified by the British embassy's visa section in New Delhi last June were found to contain forged documents, Britain's Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, said on Monday, as he announced a tightening of the nation's immigration system. Mr. Cameron gave the example of New Delhi as he strove to highlight abuses in the system of immigration governing students.

“When it comes to bogus colleges and bogus students we have to be equally clear: they have no place in our country,” said Mr. Cameron. He said that since a tightening of the system last year a total of 97 education providers have had their licence revoked, while nearly 340 won't be able to bring in non-EU students.

Mr. Cameron, under pressure over a controversy involving the Defence Secretary, Mr. Liam Fox, pledged to “get a grip” on immigration. The Government is considering the introduction of a financial bond “required from immigrants who wish to come to the country, in order to cut their dependence on the British welfare system.”

Mr. Cameron said that research had shown that over 70 per cent of UK-based sponsors for immigrants were on a salary of less than £20,000 a year. “When the income level of the sponsor is this low, there is an obvious risk that the migrants and their family will become a significant burden on the welfare system and the taxpayer.”

More would be done to encourage companies to employ British workers, he also said, describing as “simply not good enough,” a system where foreign-born workers formed an increasing part of the workforce, despite the fact that up to five million people remained on jobless benefits.

He attacked the points based system introduced by the Labour Government. Far from bringing in highly skilled workers, it brought in people with “a modest salary and a Bachelor's degree in any subject from and college in the world,” he said.

The government also plans to toughen up the route to citizenship, making it harder for those who come on a work visa to stay on in the UK. “Only those who contribute the most economically will be able to stay,” he said. Other changes include including questions on British history in the citizenship exam and attempting to make forced marriage a criminal offense.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, October 11, 2011

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