Since the British Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Peter Beckingham, apologised in April to Filipino’s for the visa bottleneck at British Embassy Visa Section in Manila, things have improved for students applying to study in the UK.
Last month Mr Beckingham was the guest of Philippine Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu at the Philippine Embassy in London. He kindly agreed to address the largely Filipino audience and take questions on visa issues.
The explosion in NVQ student applications, prior to the start of Tier 4 (for students) of the Points Based System on 1 April 2009, led to hundreds of Filipino visa applicants being delayed due to restrictions imposed by the UK Border Agency.
British Embassy Manila’s Entry Clearance Manager, Andy Battson, explained that the numbers of visa applications increased massively from 1,300 to 13,000, which, combined with their new ‘Regional Hub’ role, put considerable pressure on resources.
After the formal presentations MEP candidate for London Gene Alcantara interviewed Andy Battson for The Filipino Channel (TFC) for ABS CBN.
Majestic College reports that Entry Clearance Managers have withdrawn from several appeals and issued visas to NVQ students previously refused entry clearance.
The college also said that the embassy were now issuing far more student visas and refusing very few as they clear the backlog of thousands of pre-Tier 4 VAF applications.
The new Tier 4 rules are expected to improve the visa process, and the resources issue will apparently soon be addressed by the UK Border Agency. See ‘‘Tier 4 for Students’ video.
Gene is standing for London in the European Parliamentary elections on the 4 June and is holding a special fund raising event at FM Pasyalan in Shepherds Bush on Monday 18 May from 7pm onwards – all welcome.http://genealcantara.com
Gene is urging everyone to register and exercise their right to vote – deadline Tuesday 19 May 2009. See: European Parliamentary candidate calls on all to exercise their right to vote
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