London, April 13 (IANS) Britain has decided to make it tough for Pakistani students to step on the English soil, following a pilot scheme finding as many as four in ten applicants may be bogus.
British Home Office figures have revealed that thousands of student visa applicants cannot speak English, despite claiming they want to study here, the Daily Mail reported.
Home Secretary Theresa May has now decreed that anyone wanting to come to study in Britain from Pakistan must be interviewed by border agency officials before a visa is granted.
An estimated 10,000 Pakistani students apply to come to the country every year.
Presently, if paper applications raise suspicions, applicants may be interviewed in their home country. Of these, around 20 percent are rejected. But a recent pilot scheme in which every applicant was required to have a face-to-face interview found that up to 43 percent should be rejected.
A senior Whitehall source said that by far the biggest reason for them being turned down was poor English language skills.
"Britain is open for business to the best and brightest. But the message to bogus students is clear - you will be found out and you will be stopped from coming," said the source.
Last month, a report by the National Audit Office found that a flawed immigration crackdown may have allowed up to 50,000 bogus students into Britain.
--Indo-Asian News Series
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