Individuals who wish to move to a different country to pursue their further education are required to obtain the relevant immigration documents depending on the jurisdiction they wish to relocate to. The UK is a popular location for higher education as it boasts over 300 higher education institutions. As a result of this, there is a large volume of applicants yearly who wish to relocate to the UK for further education.
Due to the high number of applicants, the UK immigration authority has implemented a set of stringent rules and regulations that must be complied with in order to qualify for a student visa. Despite the efforts of the UK Border Agency, there have been a large number of individuals entering the country on fake student visas that are being issued in countries across the globe.
The Fake Visa Scam
There are a number of fraudulent individuals who pose as either agents of an educational institution or the representative of the UK Border Agency. These fraudsters reside within the country in which they are scamming the individual. The majority of student visa scams are dominant within South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The scammers tend to fraud potential students by asking for sensitive information about the individual – such as identity card number, passport number or credit card details. In the event that an individual provides this information to the said party, they can be potential victims of identity theft or credit card fraud.
The top ways to spot this type of scam are listed below:
- Money Transfer - The scammers tend to pose as other agencies, misleading students in paying them large sums of money in exchange for a student visa. It is imperative to approach a reputable consultancy or education institution before you depart with any amount of money for the student visa. The warning sign for this type of scam is when the agent required the applicant for mo ney in return for the visa.
- Personal Information – The visa requirements include personal information such as school transcripts, letter of confirmation etc; however it is integral that individuals do not provide original copies of documents and refrain from offering any personal information until they are certain that the agency/representatives are authentic.
- Insufficient Information – It is the responsibility of the university representatives or agents to provide the visa applicant with the necessary information with regards to moving to the UK, accommodation, culture or education. If they are unable to provide you with the basic information then it is possible that it is a fraudulent scammers posing as an agent.
How to Avoid these Scams
- Visit the UK Border Agency website for information about the student visa
- Conduct research about the university as well as their requirements for your course
- Contact the UK Border Agency and university for information about the agents present within your country of domicile
UK Point-Based System Explained
In an effort to reduce the amount of fake student visa scams, the UK introduced the point-based visa system. This system stipulated a set of rules and requirements that individuals were required to qualify for. Each requirement that the candidate meets, they are awarded a certain number of points for it. This system applies for all nationals who are immigrating to the UK from countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The Tier 4 Visa is specifically for adult learners over the age of 17. The students are required to obtain a minimum of 40 points in the assessment in order to qualify for a visa. There are 30 points awarded for the confirmation of acceptance for studies – which is issued by the educational institution. The remaining 10 points are based on the financial standing of the individuals, depending on whether or not the student can support themselves during the course of their studies.