As yet another Filipino NVQ Student wins a Visa appeal, in the UK at the AIT (Asylum and Immigration Tribunal), after being refused by the British Embassy in Manila, we are receiving an alarming number of reports of pedantic refusals under Tier 4, for which there is no appeal.
Students refused entry clearance under Tier 4 of the points based system, which took effect on 31 March 2009, will now have their cases reviewed by an ECM (Entry Clearance Manager) under the new ‘Administrative Review’ system.
ECM’s reviewing cases under the old appeal system almost always upheld their officers refusal and appellants ad to go all the way to a full hearing for justice to be served up by an Immigration Judge.
Entry Clearance Officers (ECO) now have a far more narrow scope under which they can refuse a Tier 4 application, as student visa refusals must be based on factual information, such as a forged document or incorrect visa letter. For instance, if the applicant submitted a false bank statement or the college produce a letter for the wrong course.
The UK Border Agency assured educational providers at several meetings in London that the new system will be more straightforward and that the ‘culture’ in Embassies would change.
But it appears that some ECO’s are still upholding the tradition and culture of looking for any excuse to deny a student visa application.
Tier 4 only started just over three months ago, yet student applicants are already reporting that they have been refused for reasons such as the college not stating the word ‘General’, as in ‘General Student Visa’, on the visa letter.
Others complain that they are denied over a missing phrase in the letter, which leads the ECO to conclude “on the balance of probabilities…etc, etc, etc”.
In other words it’s ‘business as usual’ down at your local visa post.
Refusals under paragraph 57 of the previous immigration rules will still be allowed a full appeal. Therefore, if your student visa application (VAF) was submitted before 31 March 2009 (which are still being processed at larger Embassies), you should still have the right of appeal. Fortunately, this student has the opportunity to appeal and the benefit of an OISC regsitered Immigration Adviser, Bison UK, handing his case at the AIT. He has now reported to Majestic College, where he will start his NVQ Health and Social Care Course.
If you have any ‘Tier 4’ horror stories, share them with Immigration Matters in the comments section below, which will be reported to the UK Border Agency.
Overseas students are worth £8 billion to the UK economy, according to the Home Office. It is vital that these issues are dealt with quickly by the Government, otherwise educational providers and the economy ar large will lose out.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: