The Mail reports that a bogus international student who lied that he could speak English and admitted buying a fake language proficiency certificate can stay in Britain, immigration appeal judges have ruled.
Even though Abbas Khaliq was ‘untruthful’ and ‘not a credible witness’, and had failed to mention that his brother was an illegal immigrant here, the reluctant judges said he had broken no rules.
So despite being caught red-handed on arrival from Pakistan at Gatwick airport, he is welcome to stay here.
It emerged during the case that since a British college had given Khaliq the go-ahead to study in the UK, and there was no physical evidence he had lied while obtaining his student visa in Pakistan, the immigration officer who caught him out at Gatwick had no powers to ban him from entry.
Embarrassingly, while the immigration judges said they had ‘no enthusiasm’ for allowing the bogus student to stay, they claimed they had no choice – because of the rules set by the very body established to keep illegal immigrants out, the UK Border agency.
The judges said in their ruling: ‘The UK Border Agency’s decision to allow colleges to assess whether students should be admitted, and to remove from immigration Officers the power to reach any view independent of the colleges – most of which have a clear financial motive to admit as many students as possible – forces us to the conclusion we have reached.’
Khaliq had flown into Britain last year to start a Higher National Diploma course in Business Management at the Leeds Professional College – the organisation which had who had sponsored his successful visa application.
But immigration officials at Gatwick soon discovered he spoke no English, despite finding a forged certificate in his bag from the Anglophile English Learning Centre in Karachi giving him an A grade.
Brazen Khaliq admitted buying the certificate – and that he knew nothing about the course he was due to take in England, and had paid someone else to choose it for him.
Further enquiries swiftly revealed that his brother was an overstayer in the UK, a clearly relevant fact which he had failed to mention.
The Leeds Professional College said they provided intensive English language training – but they would have a problem educating someone such as Khaliq who had virtually no English.
Despite being caught red-handed, Khaliq appealed against the immigration officer’s ban, and had the right to stay in the country whilst his appeal was being heard.
An immigration appeal tribunal agreed with the alert immigration officer, and upheld the ban in January 2010.
But Khaliq was entitled to another appeal, to the upper immigration tribunal – and in July and finally finished the appeal process 18 months on, by winning the right to stay in spite of his lies.
Astonishingly, at his first appeal Khaliq attempted to maintain the fiction that he was proficient in English, telling the tribunal he would need an interpreter provided a public expense purely ‘for technical reasons’.
But Immigration Judge Agnew soon discovered he could not understand her at all.
She dismissed the appeal, noting: ‘I find that the appellant is not a credible witness and that nothing that he says can be relied upon.’
Judge Agnew said it was demonstrated that ‘Leeds Professional College had not made any adequate investigation’ before offering Khaliq a place.
And Judge Agnew ruled that although the visa was obtained outside the UK, in his native Pakistan, the application for leave to enter was also a decision for Immigration to make at the airport – and because he had lied in interviews there his visa became invalid.
But Khaliq appealed to the upper tribunal on the grounds that his visa obtained before he arrived in the UK was valid, and the Immigration Officer had no evidence that he lied to get it, so had to honour it despite what was said at the airport.
The judges at the upper tribunal reluctantly agreed and gave him the right to stay in Britain.
But they added: ‘We reach that conclusion with no enthusiasm.
‘The appellant has been judicially assessed as untruthful. He has been prepared to deceive others as to the level of his competence in English.
‘He has arrived to undertake a course that his ‘Highly Trusted Sponsor’ college admitted him for, but says that it would have difficulty in delivering to him.’
The UK Border Agency’s own rules meant Khaliq had to be admitted the judges went on, adding that this ‘demonstrates that the Immigration Rules, as in force at the relevant time, provide little security against the admission of what may be described as bogus students.
‘Changes have since been made, but they do not affect this appeal.’ Source: Daily Mail.
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