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UNITED KINGDOM: New Interviews for Students

On July 9, 2012, UKBA announced a targeted interview system for students that would concentrate on high-risk applicants. On arrival to the UK, students will be asked about their immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. The UKBA expects to interview up to 14,000 students in the next 12 months. This announcement follows an interviewing pilot carried out by the UKBA last year to tackle concerns about the legitimacy of some applicants. Under the pilot, about a fifth of the applicants were refused entry to the UK based on their interviews. One of the main concerns was the inability of applicants to display the required level of English.

The Tier 4 Sponsor License Guidance notes:

From 30 July, a Tier 4 student applying from outside the UK may be asked to undertake an interview, either in person, or on the telephone. If as a result of this interview the UK Border Agency is not satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student, or the applicant cannot speak English to the required standard (judged as set out at paragraph 245 ZV(ca) of the Immigration Rules), or the application is shown to fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal, the application will be refused.

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