09 May 2012

Cambridge student caught up in UK visa scam

A Cambridge University student has been jailed after allegedly helping undocumented immigrants obtain a UK visa by sitting language exams.

UK visa

The architecture student was convicted of illegally helping other students obtain a UK visa.

Junhua Yu, a 24-year-old postgraduate studying architecture at Cambridge University's Darwin College, allegedly used several fake Chinese passports to impersonate other Chinese nationals and sit language exams needed to qualify for a UK visa in their place.

Police arrested Yu in March after sitting another English exam in Norwich using a fake passport; six further fake Chinese passports were found in his home.

"Police were called to the City of Norwich School after suspicions were raised about an examinee sitting an English examination for Chinese nationals," said Charles Myatt, prosecuting.

"After the exam had finished, police approached Yu and asked him if he had just sat the exam on behalf of someone else, he replied 'yes'."

Yu was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of possessing an identification document with improper intention as well as conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law.

Defending Yu, Michael Duffy claimed Yu did not organise the scam and discovered the scheme online.

"He was sent a link on the Internet offering him cash to sit these exams. He was short of money and rather foolishly succumbed to temptation.

"It's fair to say his entire studies have been pretty much wasted now as he now has a criminal record."

A spokesperson for Cambridge University confirmed that Yu "will not be continuing his studies at Cambridge".

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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