British Border Officials Gain New Powers

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Renee Montagne reports on tougher interview rules for certain foreign migrants applying for visas to study in the UK.


Great Britain wants to crack down on bogus applications for student visas. The new policy will give U.K. border officials to refuse entry to overseas applicants who they suspect are not genuine scholars. Those applicants deemed suspicious must go through a special interview process, which tests for English language comprehension, education history, and study plans - among other things.

A three-month pilot showed that of about 2,000 students, about a third, would have been denied entry if border officials had been able to make that call. The new rules will have the most impact on applicants from three countries in particular, Burma, India and Bangladesh. When the new policy goes into effect in a couple of weeks, as many as 5,000 migrants year, suspected as trying to pass themselves off as students could be refused entry.

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