Indian student denied entry for want of 20 GBP by Home office
An Indian student who had applied in a UK university for his higher education was denied a visa after currency fluctuations left him less than 20 GBP short of the amount required for living costs.
The Home office rules state that applicants must have funds in their bank accounts equivalent to 800 GBP for each month of their courses. It is to be noted that the student had paid the fee in full, but due to the exchange rates & falling INR, the balance fell a little short.
The student had deposited enough money to meet the total of GBP 7,200 per annum , that was specified for maintenance. But the student was told that his visa application had been denied because he had GBP 7180.18 in the bank when the total was converted into sterling . This amounts to GBP 19.82 less than what he was supposed to have.
The value of the rupee has fluctuated wildly in the past few months, and it fell by 2 per cent on the day the visa was assessed.
An appeal for leniency by the university, which has asked not to be named, has been refused, with a reassessment of the case in India likely to take up to three weeks, the institution said.
The 22-year-old student paid £300 for his visa application and is unlikely to get his permit in time to start the new term, so his course fees may have to be refunded, the university added.
“A student has put money aside in good faith and has been turned away due to circumstances completely beyond their control,” said the university’s vice-chancellor. “You can understand why you need rules about this type of thing, but there should be some flexibility.”
Other universities were likely to have been hit by similar problems, the leader added.
“The callous way that officialdom appears to be dealing with these students is causing a lot of bad feeling towards the UK.”
Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia and chair of Universities UK’s task force on the Tier 4 student visa system, said: “If verified, this case would suggest that the Home Office’s policy and attitude is continuing to damage UK universities in Indian eyes.
“The US is sharply increasing its drive for quality international recruitment, and we need a national drive to do the same.”
– Sharanya Bharathwaj