Home Office revokes 7,000 UK visas from students ‘in error’

23 Apr 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Up to 7,000 foreign students may have had their UK visas revoked by the Home Office and been ordered to leave the country in error.

According to the Financial Times, the Home Office has revoked the UK visas of more than 35,800 foreign students over claims they have faked their English proficiency tests.

However, according to reports the methods used by the Home Office have failed to accurately discover which students have cheated in exams, with a reported success rate of only 80 per cent. This has resulted with up to 7,000 students being told they could have their UK visas revoked in error.

The investigation was launched following a BBC Panorama programme, which alleged that cheating had taken place at some of the colleges where the test to gain UK visas was conducted.

The company behind the system, Educational Testing Services, subsequently examined the voice files to determine who had cheated but using another person to sit the exam.

The Home Office revoked the UK visas from 35,800 people by the end 0f 2016 as a result of the tests, with all involved required to stop studying and many losing their jobs as a result.

Commenting on the situation, a spokesperson for the Home Office said: “In February 2014, investigations into the abuse of English language testing revealed systemic cheating, which was indicative of large scale organised fraud. The Government took immediate robust action on this, which has been measured and proportionate, and so far 21 people have received criminal convictions for their role in this deception.”