100,000 students coming to UK face immigration interviews

Home secretary announces programme to root out abuse of visa system, focusing on 'highest-risk countries'

Theresa May

Consular staff are to interview more than 100,000 prospective students hoping to study in Britain as the government moves to stop "bogus students" from entering the country, Theresa May has announced.

In a keynote speech on immigration, which was warmly welcomed by the Migration Watch founder Sir Andrew Green, the home secretary said the new round of interviews would be extended "across all routes to Britain". This could mean that as many as 250,000 people hoping to come to Britain could face an interview.

May made the announcement in a speech to the centre-right Policy Exchange thinktank after saying that a pilot study by the Border Agency, in which 2,300 prospective students were interviewed, had found that "abuse was rife".

The home secretary added: "So I can announce that, from today, we will extend radically the Border Agency's interviewing programme. Starting with the highest-risk countries, and focusing on the route to Britain that is widely abused, student visas, we will increase the number of interviews to considerably more than 100,000, starting next financial year.

"From there, we will extend the interviewing programme further across all routes to Britain, wherever the evidence takes us. I believe this new approach will help us to root out the abuse of British visas, and improve the integrity of our immigration system."


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