Monday, 22 February 2010

More Immigration Troubles

A student from New Zealand, who applied to Goldsmiths from within the UK, has been the victim of a mistake by the university administration, and will shortly have to fly back to her country to prove her identity.

In late August I received my visa letter from Goldsmiths with a “typo” saying I was from Japan' she said. 'I repeatedly called and emailed the administration during the course of the month, but never obtained a reply. I then sent my application, fearing I might otherwise miss the semester. Late September I was refused by the UKBA.

After significant pressure from students, the Goldsmiths administration has since agreed to refund her tuition fees and has also offered to refund the visa application fees. They apologised for the clerical error, but maintained that it was the student's fault since she came under a tourist visa, instead of a Tier 4 Visa.

The student comments: Currently, the price of a flight is a great concern to me, as a one-way flight to New Zealand is around $1000. The fact that I was to study post-colonial studies only makes my case all the more ironic.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Experiences of PBI

We have spoken with so many students who have needlessly suffered at the hands of the UK border agency and other bureaucratic bodies. The problems students have had to endure range from the inconvenient to the traumatising and we will be posting a few accounts here on the blog to give you an idea of what sort of treatment foreign nationals wishing to study in Britain can expect.

(The first of which can be viewed directly below)

These bureacratic actions have very serious human implications.

The Reality of PBI

I am a final year Undergraduate student at Goldsmiths University, studying Media and Communications. During my final year, when applying for an extension to my student visa I was refused on the grounds of the points system. I replied to the relevant case worker responsible for administrating my application, emphasizing that I had literally only a few months left before finishing my BA (Hons) degree, and could prove that I had moneys necessary to cover all costs which would incur during this time. His response was that it was out of his control and that I had to reapply for another visa.

Since then, I have been in touch with my lawyer. It is clear that the reason for my refusal is because the money that was necessary to be in my account under the points system was actually in my account 1 day after the appointed day (being the date of the deadline of my application). I am about to appear in court to appeal this decision.

My perspective on this matter is that the Home Office, who administrate Student Visas, should work on each application/appeal on an individual basis, as the circumstances surrounding each individual are potential diverse.

Since October 2009, the process of trying to complete my degree whilst coping with the ongoing stress surrounding finding a way to stay in the country has been emotionally/mentally draining. I find it appalling that the system cannot be more sensitive to individual circumstances. By taking a little more time when looking at specifically my application it would have been clear that I had not only invested nearly £40,000 into the education system but was also in the middle of applying for further education.