UK Immigration: BBC Panorama Exposes Fraud in UK Student Visa System

Tonight, BBC Panorama is set to broadcast ‘Immigration Undercover: The Student Visa Scandal’, a programme which will highlight that UK student visas have been acquired through a network of unscrupulous immigration agents who sell forged bank documents and provide ‘stand-ins’ to sit English language exams. Undercover footage will reveal how government approved English exams are being routinely subverted with fake sitters taking spoken English exams for students; footage which has been described by Home Secretary Theresa May as “incredible”, “very shocking” and “a matter of grave concern.”

Undercover Footage Reveals Fraud in UK Student Visa System

Statistics show that more than 200,000 UK student visas are issued abroad each year while a further 100,000 or so people in the UK get their student visas extended by the Home Office. BBC Panorama’s investigation found that for a fee, criminal immigration agents can help people get around the compulsory English language tests, even if they speak little or no English.

Undercover footage taken inside government approved exam centres in East London, show candidates being replaced by ringers’ minutes before the test starts. It seems that the “fake sitters” answered written and oral papers, while the real candidates were called to be photographed as “proof” of taking the test. Shockingly, in the second half of the test, an invigilator was filmed reading out the answers to all 200 questions – meaning candidates completed the two hour test in just seven minutes.

Home Office Suspends English Language Tests Run by ETS

Following the revelations, the Home Office has suspended ETS from administering English language tests for immigration purposes. Last night, speaking on the BBC’s undercover footage, Theresa May stated:

“We have taken action and suspended the two colleges identified in the programme. Applications made by students in the UK using the English Testing Service or associated with the colleges or immigration advisors mentioned in the programme have been put on hold pending the outcome of those investigations. All further English language tests done through ETS in the UK have been suspended.”

Successful UK Tier 4 Student Visa Applications & Appeals

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a student visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

Immigration Undercover: The Student Visa Scandal will be broadcast at 8.30pm tonight (Monday 10 February) on BBC One

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