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British Ambassador apologises for student visa chaos | Immigration Matters

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In a report by ABS-CBN’s UK correspondent Gene Alcantara, Peter Beckingham, British Ambassador to the Philippines, apologised to an audience of UK based Filipinos for the recent ‘visa fiasco’ at British Embassy Visa Section in Manila. 

At event at the organised by Ambassador Espiritu at the Philippine Embassy in London, Peter Beckenham explained that the huge backlog occurred as a result of the explosion of NVQ student applications prior to the start of the new Points Based System on 31 March 2009. 

Manila based Entry Clearance Manager Andy Battson added that the numbers of VAF student visa applications increased from 1,300 to 13,000 – a massive steep leap which, added to their new ‘Regional Hub’ role, has put considerable pressure on their resources. 

The new Tier 4 rules are widely expected to improve the visa process, with the resources and staffing issues apparently soon be addressed by the UK Border Agency. 

After the presentation I spoke with Andy Battson about the inconsistency of decisions made by Entry Clearance Officers (ECO’s). 

Mr Battson, who had given up some of his own vacation time in London to ‘face the music’, defended his ECO’s adding that they were only human and doing the best job they could. 

He acknowledged that Tier 4, of the points system, will take away much of the ECO’s decision making power.

Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker asked Mr Battson about the Embassy’s VAC’s visa handling partner, VFS Global’s ’10 appointments a day’ policy, which has caused most of the anxiety felt by student applicants.

He said that the Embassy and VFS, acting on orders from the UK Border Agency, and had no option but to limit the numbers of NVQ student visa applicants, as this would have caused a backlog of other visa applications.

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13 Responses to “British Ambassador apologises for student visa chaos”
Read them below or add one

  1. Eleaze Bonares says :

    i lodged my application last dec. 16,2008.havent heard anythng yet,what do u think have happend.

  2. George, sorry to hear that.

    I am interested to hear what was the main reason for the refusals and were they refused under Tier 4?

    Immigration Matters is closely following the outcome of Tier 4 visa applications, and would like to hear from anyone who has experience of the new system.

  3. This is total chaos. 90% student visa applicant rejected by UK consulate today, 30 July, 2009. It points to inconsiderate, bureaucratic, inept, inefficient British Government which cannot even do something as simple as student visa right.
    Unless remedial measures allow students who booked ticket to continue their student visa processing in UK and start their school there as scheduled, wholesale boycott of UK institutions is inevitable.


  4. It depends on where he has applied from in terms on turn around time for student visas. There are NVQ courses in Finance and in virtually all voactional subjects ranging from Hairdressing to Health and Social Care and Cusomer Service.

  5. Rosanna Alveyra says :

    I’m based here in UK and my brother In Law applied for Student visa to study Finance on March which is obviously not NVQ . I thought it will only take a couple of months. Has this also been affected?


  6. You are entitled to reapply, but whether or not your application for a student visa under Tier 4 will be successful or not depends on a number of factors including: the nature of the fraudulent document you submitted previously, your explanation and whether you received an automatic ban. You may wish to take professional advice before reapplying.

  7. Leonida W. Dacaca says :


    I would like to ask if I can still apply for the second time for student visa even if my student visa application was refused due to fraud document. I was not able to make an appeal during that time.

    I really want to study in UK because my friends are there already. Thank you.

  8. You are welcome. Good luck!

  9. nicolai says :

    Mr. Kelly, tnx for the reply so we will used the other visa category? tnx a billion

  10. E. Crizaldo says :

    Im NVQ applicant and have lodge my visa application last Jan 12, 2009.My concern is that why it takes so long for us to wait.My only purpose is to have addtional qualifications.Does age matters for applying student visa?.. Am on my 50’s but i dont look matured at my age..Hoping the result soon.. so I could ask assistance from this office.

  11. E. Crizaldo says :

    Im NVQ applicant and have lodge my visa application last Jan 12, 2009.My concern is that why it takes so long for us to wait.My only purpose is to have addtional qualifications.Does age matters for applying student visa am on my 50’s but i dont look matured at my age..

  12. nicolai says :

    Does that mean we cannot able to book an appointment for NVQ category?

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