Wednesday23 July 2014

London Met students in limbo despite ruling

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Part II’s caught in visa loophole

A number of London Met architecture students are still in limbo despite a high court judge ruling in favour of the university.

While most students got the all-clear to resume their studies at London Met this week, some part II students are caught in a loophole because their visas will expire midway through the year.

They took a year out between part I and part II and were advised by the university that their standard two-year “post-study visa” could be used to cover the first year of their MA.

But London Met is now unable to sponsor the students for a new visa to cover their final year because its licence was revoked by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) this summer in a row over bogus students.

Late last week a high court judge approved London Met’s application for a judicial review of the UKBA ruling.

London Met

London Met

He also said existing students with “current full proper immigration status” could choose to return to London Met to complete their current academic year or their course, whichever is the sooner.

The news was greeted with enormous relief by students such as Duna Irshaid who said: “I had lost hope of this situation changing. I am almost too scared to be happy about this now.”

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: “London Metropolitan University’s Tier 4 sponsor licence remains revoked. London Metropolitan has failed to get its sponsor status restored and the judge has not granted interim relief.

“UKBA agreed to allow existing genuine students to continue studying at the university until their course has ended or the end of the academic year, whichever is sooner – as long as they meet the right standards. But students who are here illegally and do not meet our immigration criteria will not be allowed to stay.

“Revoking the university’s licence was the right course of action and we will continue to fight the university’s challenge at the full hearing.”

Pushed specifically about part IIs, an official said: “This position applies to existing students who applied for an extension to their visa before the revocation was announced.”



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