Britain cracks the whip, bans 76 fraud visa applicants

April 17th, 2008 - 9:30 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Britain has banned 76 Indian visa applicants for trying to break the rules to enter that country over the last fortnight since it introduced a new points-based visa system in India. “If applicants use deception when applying for a visa, including submitting false documents, they face the prospect of all future UK visa applications being automatically refused for ten years,” the British high commission here said Thursday.

The points-based system-Tier 1 (PBS-TO), which covers highly skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, investors, and graduate students, replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, the Entrepreneur and Investor schemes and the International Graduates.

India became the first country April 1 to get a taste of the new British visa regime, which will be extended to the rest of the world later in the year.

The initial visa is now given for three years as against two years under the previous systems.

The new visa regime bars from coming to the UK for ten years people who have previously broken UK’s immigration laws by entering that country illegally, working illegally, staying beyond the duration of their visa or using deception in a visa application.

Under the new visa regime, applicants will need sufficient points to qualify. Points are awarded for objective criteria such as qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience.

The new system has been designed to streamline the visa process for legitimate travellers and to weed out those intending to cheat the system so that unwanted outsiders do not enter Britain and settle there. Britain has the largest visa operation in India and processes around 450,000 applications here annually.

The introduction of the point-based visa regime coincided with fundamental changes being made to the UK’s immigration system that included the creation of a new unified UK Border Agency.

The UK Border Agency brings together immigration and customs operations with enhanced police-like powers to protect the country’s borders, prevent smuggling, immigration crime and border tax fraud.

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