The National Audit Office (NAO) of the United Kingdom had commenced an investigation to look into the manner the government is handling a visa squabble involving many international students, many of whom are from India.
On Friday, April 26, 2019, the NAO confirmed the investigation. This came days after a migrant group had renewed its efforts for justice to prevail in favor of the students. The students in question had “wrong” accusations of cheating in the mandatory English language exam which was a pre-requisite for getting a visa. The migrant group had, therefore, been lobbying the UK government to get justice for them.
Over 36,000 student visas were canceled!
The NAO, which serves as the watchdog overseeing the spending of the UK government, has linked this visa row with the Windrush Scandal. The Windrush Scandal had Commonwealth migrants wrongly denied their rights as British citizens
in their thousands. The visa row, on the other hand, involves an estimate of 36,000 cancellations of student visas.
In 2014, a documentary made by the BBC made public, how fraudulent the UK student visa system
had become, which included widespread malpractice in English Language tests. Students who had evidence of cheating had their visas revoked but the decisions made have been brought under the scrutiny of the public and parliament, following the Windrush Scandal.
Migrant Voice, which has been lobbying members of parliament, has said that while many students in the UK
were deported over false cheating charges based on the BBC documentary of about 5 years ago, there are still thousands of them who stayed back in the country to clear their name.
The director of Migrant Voice, Nazek Ramadan, said the popular demand is for the UK government and Home Office to let the affected students re-sit the English language test, so that those who pass it, will be reissued their visas. They will then be able to continue studying or working in the country with the criminal allegation against them dropped.
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