02 February 2010

Sham marriages behind surge in UK visa applications from India

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Suspected sham marriages are behind the huge increase in Tier 4 Student Visa applications from Indian nationals, UK immigration officials have said.

UK Immigration

UK immigration have suspended Tier 4 applications from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, because of suspected sham marriages.

Britain temporarily suspended Tier 4 applications from India, Bangladesh and Nepal earlier this week until further notice, after seeing a sharp increase in numbers from 1,800 to 13,500 in the same period the following year.

The Daily Telegraph has reported, according to immigration consultants in India, unscrupulous immigration agents were exploiting weaknesses in the new UK immigration system to increase the number of unqualified candidates applying for student visas as well as arranging fake "court marriages" for successful Tier 4 applicants.

The students' spouses enter Britain and work full-time, with a hope of eventually extending their UK visa.

The Daily Telegraph detailed that Indian newspapers have reported a surge in matrimonial advertisements in local newspapers in Ludhiana and Jalandhar, two major cities in Punjab which have traditionally been major emigration centres.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge UK immigration applications with the British Embassy.

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