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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Quality of immigration checks under the points-based system: UK Border Agency response

The UK Border Agency has responded to claims in the media that the United Kingdom's new points-based system for visa applications has weakened security, particularly with regard to applications for student visas, by replacing face-to-face interviews with a 'tick-box' system.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said:

'The UK's border is stronger than ever. Fingerprint visas mean we can check everyone who wants to come to the UK against immigration and crime databases. These checks are a crucial part of securing the border, and they have already detected at least 5,000 false identities.

'Fingerprint visas make up one part of the UK's triple ring of security, alongside hi-tech watch-list checks at the border and identity cards for foreign nationals, and work alongside the tough new rules of the points-based system to protect the UK's border.'

In addition to the system of fingerprint visas, the UK Border Agency's Risk and Liaison Overseas Network provides additional checks and supports all high-risk posts in making the right visa decisions.

The United Kingdom's points-based system for visa applications was extended to students on 31 March 2009, introducing robust new controls. Any foreign student applying to study in the United Kingdom must now show that they have a place at an education provider with a sponsor licence, and education providers cannot get a sponsor licence from the UK Border Agency unless they are inspected or audited (by the appropriate statutory body) or hold valid accreditation with an approved accreditation body.

Extracted from UK Border Agency

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