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UK Suspends Accepting Student Visa Applications In N India

PTI 30 Jan 2010, 17:47:19 IST

Facing an unprecedented increase in the number of student visa-seekers from north India, Britain has temporarily suspended accepting such applications as it suspects that there may be attempts to abuse the system.

The UK Border Agency, which enforces immigration and customs regulations and considers applications for permission to enter or stay in Britain, today announced the suspension in taking visa applications at its centres in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jalandhar from Monday.

We took this decision in response to unexpectedly high numbers of student visa applications in these areas at this time of year. The temporary suspension will allow the UK Border Agency to continue to scrutinise applications thoroughly and to manage the visa process efficiently for all our customers in north India," Deputy High Commissioner Nigel Casey said.

These three centres had received nearly 1000 student visa applications from October to December 2007. This number increased to 1,800 in the same period in 2008 while the number climbed to 13,500 in the corresponding period last year.

"Some applicants are trying to abuse the visa procedure to get entry into UK for purpose other than studies. We cannot allow this to happen," UK Border Agency's Regional Director Chris Dix said.