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Yes, good news and common sense, David.

English UK not to be confused with Education UK of course!

Tony Conway

It has always been thus.

In the early '90's after the opening up of Eastern Europe and former Soviet States, I recall visa refusals coming out of the Consular and Visa section of the BE in Moscow, particularly, based on the fact that applicants had poor English and no proven track record of an interest in learning the language. Very subjective judgements in a changing world ! (The same in China over the years).

At the time, these refusals seemed ludicrous to me, working in the EFL sector in the UK, where such students should have been welcomed with open arms - unless, of course, the fee levels charged by the private EFL sector were viewed by HMG as low thus providing an easy and cheap means of illegal entry to the UK - even those applying to recognised (accredited) schools.

I have struggled, over the subsequent years, to understand why refusals based on inadequate English persist especially since such 'potential illegal immigrants' put themselves through the visa application process in the first place.

For (relatively) low cost EFL programmes in the UK, where government concerns may focus, surely a simple system of bonds could be put in place where students (and/or) their sponsors could deposit in escrow an amount of money sufficient to encourage, if not guarantee, a return to the home country, thus reinforcing their good intentions in applying for appropriate visas in the first place.

Such a requirement would re-inforce the sponsorship status of accredited UK institutions, especially those involved in Language Training, and remove the need for subjectivity from ECO's assessing the financial status of applicants for visas, and their sponsors.


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