Student 'Scams' provide yet another back door into Britain

Education 2.2

Further evidence that current procedures are failing to prevent major scams within the immigration system is revealed in a new report out today from think-tank Migrationwatch.

Research by the group into Home Office statistics reveals serious doubts about the number of students being allowed to extend their stay in Britain, raising concerns that it is yet another back door into Britain.

In the case of students from just one country - Jamaica - in the period 2001/03 - 1690 students were admitted but 27,525 more had their stays extended, even though official records show there are only 780 Jamaican students in the country!

Once again it underlines the chaos that exists in the system and makes a mockery of the claim by the Prime Minster recently that immigration is under control, said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch. How can they possibly have granted so many extensions over a three year period without anyone realising that there must be some major scams in operation?

The groups analysis is drawn from Home Office immigration statistics published recently (CM 633) which show an increase in student extensions of 48% over the previous year to reach 190,215.

A comparison between the number of students admitted to Britain from each country over the past three years and the number granted extension in that period shows some surprising results. For Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Russia, Czech Republic and Cyprus extensions were less than 25% of student admissions over the same period. For the USA, by far the largest source of students at 195,000, only 2% sought extensions. (See table below).

By contrast, extensions were close to 100% of admissions for countries such as Lithuania, Ukraine, Trinidad, Ghana, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Sri Lanka.

This high percentage may be partially accounted for by the fact that students may re-apply for extensions provided that they have evidence of financial support and a letter offering them a place. Those who arrive as visitors from countries for which visas are required are not permitted to switch to student status. If they do not require visas they may do so.

None of this, however, explains the two most remarkable results, said Sir Andrew.

In the period 2001 2003 4,270 students were admitted from Zimbabwe but, in the same period no less than 25,420 extensions were approved. For Jamaica the figures are even more startling. 1,690 were admitted and 27,525 were extended. By contrast, according to a recent Parliamentary Answer [HL 4832] the number of Zimbabwean and Jamaican students in UK Higher Educational Institutions in 2002/3 was only 2,850 and 780 respectively.

Visas were introduced for Zimbabweans in Nov 2002 and for Jamaicans in Jan 2003 but the number of extensions granted to students continued to rise.

"It is no wonder that public trust in the Governments immigration policies is at an all time low," he said.

Student visa extensions

The following table shows the number of students given leave to enter the UK in 2001-3 and extensions under the student category in 2001-3 - both sets of data with totals for the 3 years. The final column is total extensions as a percentage of admissions for this period - I.e. anything over 100% means there have been more extensions than admissions (or, for example, that more than half the students concerned have made two applications for extensions).

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

 

2001

2002

2003

Total

2001

2002

2003

Total

 

Cyprus

2330

2210

2160

6700

170

215

510

895

13%

Czech Republic

3610

4710

4690

13010

730

985

1115

2830

22%

Hungary

3040

3540

3560

10140

410

515

755

1680

17%

Lithuania

1730

2450

1900

6080

1735

1975

2135

5845

96%

Poland

14300

18400

17600

50300

3365

4940

8050

16355

33%

Russia

12600

15100

13100

40800

595

845

1375

2815

7%

Slovakia

1330

1840

2120

5290

745

135

1130

2010

38%

Turkey

5960

6510

5080

17550

2480

20

3135

5635

32%

Ukraine

2950

2860

1740

7550

2425

2750

2510

7685

102%

Other Former USSR

4020

4960

4860

13840

750

1735

2915

5400

39%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

Brazil

10700

9700

8840

29240

3395

4635

7530

15560

53%

Colombia

2970

3010

2590

8570

2140

2230

2485

6855

80%

Jamaica

640

625

425

1690

5115

9190

13220

27525

1629%

Mexico

4100

5240

4550

13890

395

530

780

1705

12%

Trinidad

450

505

395

1350

565

675

1000

2240

166%

USA

64500

69200

61300

195000

730

915

1565

3210

2%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

Ghana

2460

2890

2830

8180

1965

3130

4500

9595

117%

Kenya

1920

1980

1480

5380

1010

1315

1855

4180

78%

Libya

2670

3130

2330

8130

855

1260

1795

3910

48%

Mauritius

1180

1210

1810

4200

890

1280

2260

4430

105%

Nigeria

3220

4320

4310

11850

2170

2840

4250

9260

78%

Sierra Leone

260

355

460

1075

210

275

530

1015

94%

South Africa

1300

1380

1370

4050

1715

2250

3300

7265

179%

Tanzania

910

905

820

2635

815

1170

1410

3395

129%

Uganda

990

1290

1330

3610

680

930

1665

3275

91%

Zimbabwe

1700

1780

790

4270

5810

9075

10535

25420

595%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

Bangladesh

1520

2370

2590

6480

780

1195

2360

4335

67%

India

8260

13300

15400

36960

2080

4390

10055

16525

45%

Pakistan

4860

3870

6730

15460

2405

4105

5700

12210

79%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

Iran

810

1000

1190

3000

470

665

990

2125

71%

Saudi

2280

2500

2780

7560

385

535

805

1725

23%

Syria

670

530

545

1745

400

445

520

1365

78%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

China

27000

42700

30200

99900

10190

19810

36195

66195

66%

Hong Kong

8030

8140

5740

21910

935

1295

825

3055

14%

Japan

35000

32500

26600

94100

2885

3275

5200

11360

12%

Malaysia

7600

8260

6770

22630

2310

2855

4030

9195

41%

Singapore

2010

2360

1800

6170

190

240

510

940

15%

South Korea

12900

14600

12600

40100

2145

2770

4300

9215

23%

Sri Lanka

1970

1740

1840

5550

1415

2070

2630

6115

110%

Taiwan

6890

8990

5650

21530

1460

2015

2135

5610

26%

Thailand

3470

4100

3900

11470

1565

1850

2380

5795

51%

 

Entry

Extensions

Ratio

Australia

1850

1740

2170

5760

355

390

565

1310

23%

1 December, 2004

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