Prospective International Students now face potential interviews as part of the Home Office’s assessment as to whether or not they are genuine students. The decision follows a pilot interview scheme, where the Entry Clearance Offices state 32% of applicants interviewed appeared not to be genuine.
Since the introduced of the Points Based System, students have been required to demonstrate that they had sufficient points and were not normally interviewed. It was for the Tier 4 Sponsor or educational institution to ensure that the student intended to study and that their English was sufficient to undertake their chosen course of studies. The new proposals hark back to the pre-PBS era where students were subjected to questioning about everything from the marking scheme to the location of the campus as ECOs sought to establish if a student was genuine or not.
In rolling out the process, the Home Office has identified a number of “high risk” countries and are introducing credibility interviews to try and determine an Applicant’s true intention. The result of this is that it could lead to students having to undergo two interviews, an initial video link conference with an official in the UK and a potential second interview, face to face, with staff at the UK Embassy, all to try to prove that they are what they claim to be, a student.
It is therefore important that International Students planning to come to the UK, to study, allow plenty of time for the application process. Leaving things to the last minute could result in delays and thus ending up missing course enrolment dates. International Students having identified their course and place of study should make sure that they have a detailed understand of the course they intend to study, particularly its structure and content. They should also be aware that they are likely to be asked why they have chosen that particular intuition and course.
For International Students it’s no longer just exam questions that need to be satisfactory answered!