Monday, September 06, 2010
Student visa fiasco: Damian Green's forthcoming speech
My experience as a caseworker was that many if not most student visa applications were likely fraudulent; especially those re 15-hour per week English courses (the most miminal education course conferring eligibility to migrate). In any case, there were no systems in place to in any way properly check applications, and an ex-colleague still working within Managed Migration tells me its worse now even than when I was there. Indeed the ethos is that "we are in the business of granting". Any application refered on to a senior caseworker that conceivably could be appealed, the senior caseworker insists is granted. This means that virtually all applications are granted entirely irrespective of merit.
There have been repeated announcements of new checks on supposed English language colleges, even though these supposedly have been in place from before even the time I was working there. This is a clear admission that there are large humbers of 'colleges' that act merely as fronts for illegal migration. The announced checks are always the same as before -- keeping a list of colleges found to be bogus. But there are very few staff allocated to this work, and precious few visits. This was in place in 2003-2004, but it consisted of two workers in some cupboard, who were not contactable from one week to the next (probably, like most indviduals at any one time within the Home Office, on some sort of leave or job-share).
There has been research that many even of the visas granted re university courses are also fraudulent -- many more such visas were issued than the total of foreign student places granted at UK universities.
The big problem is that it is not until 2014 that counting both in and out plus taking details of migrants is to be introduced. Also there are insufficient resources both for checking visa applications and enforcement through frontline immigration officers.
And the big problem behind that is the completely hopeless culture at the Home Office -- its longstanding attitude that immigration is an insoluble problem simply to be news-managed; and in any case is furthering the 'equal opportunities and diversity' drive [that is, a profound punishment backlash against the mass or ordinary citizens (formerly 'the workers') to ameliorate the cognitive dissonance in the political-Left mindset -- for some time now the dominant one in the establishment -- caused by the sustained complete failure of the revolutionary or progressive project].