The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is publishing a blacklist list of financial institutions which, on the basis of experience, they will no longer accept to verify financial statements.
This week the UKBA has announced the creation of a new initial list containing hundreds international banks and financial institutions which will be used when considering points under a Tier 4 student visa application.
The bank blacklist will be used when verifying maintenance funds under Tier 4 of the points-based system. A student visa applicant will receive no points for maintenance if they submit documents showing that the funds are held in a financial institution on the list – and could also face a ban from the UK.
The list includes banned banks from India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The list forms part of the reforms to the Tier 4 student visa immigration route, which say the UKBA will ensure that they can verify that student visa applicants hold the required maintenance funds to support themselves and pay for their course in the UK.
Thousands of international students have arrived in the UK with little or no money, despite presenting ‘proof’ of funds to entry clearance officers at their local British Embassy.
Many have failed to pay fees on arrival or keep up with monthly payment plans. Some colleges are having to resort to legal action through the county courts to recover debts owed by non-paying students.
Students end up on credit blacklists with County Court Judgements (CCJ) registered against them, which means they will find it extremely difficult to obtain credit, open a bank account or rent a property.
The consequences of court actions, criminal offences or civil action, can be even more serious for migrant workers under Tier 2 or Tier 4 students.
County Court Judgements, or civil actions, must now be declared on new style immigration forms for further leave to remain or visa extensions and may affect your chances of renewing your Tier 4 student visa. A CCJ or Credit Default (e.g. not keeping up with payments on a credit card, loan or mobile phone agreement) will stay on your credit file and history for six years or more and will have to be declared on immigration forms.
The UKBA will give a 30-day notice period from the date when a financial institution is first listed before the new rule takes effect. This will enable applicants to make the necessary financial arrangements, so that they can provide financial documentation which meets the new requirements.
The list will be kept under review, and we will make additions or deletions as appropriate.
The UKBA said it will continue to verify financial information from financial institutions not on the list, on a case-by-case basis, and may refuse applications on the basis of these individual checks.
The following criteria provide an example of the minimum standard for banks in order for us to satisfactorily verify documentation:
- international banks; or
- national banks with a UK private banking presence; or
- regulated national/state banks that provide a core banking service.
The UKBA adds that ‘points may still be awarded if banks do not meet these criteria, where they have a history of providing satisfactory verification checks’. However, as many have found to their cost, once an entry clearance officer (ECO) or UKBA case worker discovers that a fraudulent bank statement has been submitted as part of a Tier 4 student visa application or student visa extension they are highly likely to slap a 10 year ban on the student.
The list of ‘FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT DO NOT SATISFACTORILY VERIFY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS – PHILIPPINES’ runs to 36 pages.
The major Philippine banks which will be still be accepted by the UKBA are:
|ABN Amro Bank LKG Tower 6801 Ayala Avenue 1200, Makati City, Manila|
|Al-Amanah Islamic Bank PHIDCO A. Building Veterans Avenue, Zamboanga City|
|Allied Banking Corporation Allied Banking Centre, 6754 Ayala Ave. cor. Legaspi St., Makati City|
|Allied Savings Bank Allied Bank Centre, 6754 Ayala Ave. cor. Legaspi St., Makati City|
|Asia United Bank JN Bldg., Joy Nastalg Centre, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City 1605|
|Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) 9F Metrobank Card Corp. Centre, 6778 Ayala Avenue, Makati City|
|Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. BDO Corporate Centre, 7899 Makati Avenue, Makati City|
|Bangkok Bank Public Co Ltd 10th Floor Tower II The Enterprise Centre 6766 Ayala Avenue, Makati City|
|Bank of America, N.A. 27/F Philamlife Tower, 8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1226|
|Bank of China (Limited – Manila Branch) 36/F Philamlife Tower, 8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City|
|Bank of Commerce San Miguel Properties Centre (SMPC), No. 7 Saint Francis Street, Mandaluyong City 1550|
|Bank of the Philippine Islands BPI Bldg., Ayala Avenue cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 0720|
|BLACKLISTED BANKS1st Macro Bank, Inc. (A Rural Bank)||B. Morcilla & P. Herrera Sts., Pateros City||24 November 2011|
|1st Valley Bank, Inc. (A Rural Bank)||Baroy, Lanao del Norte||24 November 2011|
|5 Speed Rural Bank, Inc.||J. P. Rizal St., Poblacion, Padre Garcia, Batangas||24 November 2011|
|A B Capital and Investment Corporation||Unit 1008, 10F Tower I & Exchange Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati City||24 November 2011|
|Advantage Bank Corp. (A Microfinance-Oriented Rural Bank)||Stop Over Commercial Complex, Mac Arthur Highway (Namkwang Road) corner Gerona-Pura Road, Brgy. Abagon, Gerona, Tarlac||24 November 2011|
|Agri-Business Rural Bank, Inc.||Poblacion, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya||24 November 2011|
|Agricom Rural Bank (Sta. Maria,Bulacan), Inc.||F. Santiago cor. A. Morales Sts. Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan||24 November 2011|
|Agusan Norte – Butuan City Coop RB||UCCP Bldg., R. Calo St., Butuan City, Agusan del Norte||24 November 2011|
The list of Indian banks runs to 49 pages and includes:
|Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Ahmedabad Mercantile Co-Op Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Amanath Co-operative Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Andhra Pradesh Mahesh Co-Op Urban Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Bharat Co-operative Bank (Mumbai) Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Bharati Sahakari Bank Limited||24 November 2011|
|Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Limited||24 November 2011|
|Charminar Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Citizen Credit Co-operative Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Cosmos Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Dombivli Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Goa Urban Co-operative Bank Limited||24 November 2011|
|Gopinath Patil Parsik Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Greater Bombay Co-operative Bank Limited||24 November 2011|
|Indian Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Jalgaon Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
|Janakalyan Sahakari Bank Ltd||24 November 2011|
You can find the full list at:
Earlier this month a pilot scheme to help UK banks and credit providers identify fraudulent applications by immigration offenders was launched by the Audit Commission.
The Commission and the UK Border Agency will share ‘real time’ information with financial institutions. Each year the UK Border Agency processes around 3.5 million applications to visit, live, work or study in the UK.
The aim is to prevent those with no right to stay or work in the UK from accessing financial services. In return, financial institutions will provide the Agency with information on where illegal working and employment is taking place, supporting the Agency’s work in tackling immigration crime.
Revised Tier 4 General application form (07/11) now asks for a lot more detailed information covering criminal and civil offences, good character, benefit claims and includes the following statements:
‘I understand that if the UK Border Agency has reasonable cause to believe that any document or documents I have submitted with this application are forged, fraudulent or not genuine, and the UK Border Agency has sought to verify the documents using processes specified by it but has not been able to verify them, no points will be awarded for these documents even if the UK Border Agency cannot prove that they are not genuine.
‘I understand that my details may in certain circumstances be passed to fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering. I also understand that such agencies may provide the UK Border Agency with information about me.
‘The UK Border Agency may request information from other law enforcement agencies, Government departments or Agencies, local authorities, the Police, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration or research purposes to enable them to perform their functions.’
Section E.1 of the form asks:
‘Has the student had any criminal convictions in the United Kingdom or any other country (including traffic offences) or any civil judgments made against them (i)?’
In signing the declaration the student agrees to the following:
‘I am aware that it is an offence under the Immigration Act 1971, as amended by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, to make, to a person acting in execution of any of these Acts, a statement or representation which I know to be false or do not believe to be true, or to obtain or seek to obtain leave to remain in the United Kingdom by means which include deception.
‘I understand that information I provide to the UK Border Agency will be treated in confidence but it may be disclosed to other law enforcement agencies, government departments, agencies, local authorities, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration or research purposes, for purposes as stated in The Biometric Registration Regulations, or to enable them to perform their functions.’
The student agrees to post issue enquiries and information discovered being used in court. There is also a short line which warns that ‘providing information or documentation that is not correct will normally result in my application being refused and may lead to my prosecution for a criminal offence’.
It should also be remembered that work permits, visas and even ‘indefinite’ leave to remain (ILR) can be cancelled by the Home Office for various offences. The Home Office has or the Home Secretary has the power to revoke British Citizenship under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act.
Most in-country refusals carry the right of a full appeal before an immigration judge at a tribunal, unlike out of country student visa refusals which are reconsidered under an administrative review.
The student visa crackdown has no effect on Bulgarian and Romanian students who want to work full time in the UK by taking NVQ vocational courses.
Although Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not enjoy full free movement rights to work in the UK they can obtain Yellow Card permits to work full time as part of a vocational study programme such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care.
Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not enjoy full free movement rights to work in the UK, but can obtain Yellow Card permits to work full time as part of a vocational study programme such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
Majestic College offer special packages and free advice for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
Majestic College also has access to funding for Apprenticeships.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org