Since their hopes of studying in the UK have been ruined by the refusal of the student visa to them by the British High Commission, hundreds of prospective students from Punjab and Haryana are finding themselves in a deep financial crisis.
Reports of Indian students living a miserable life in Britain notwithstanding, hundreds of students from Punjab and Haryana are applying for admission to British colleges every day. Visa refusal and then failure to get the refund of the fee paid by students in advance are putting applicants under stress.
British colleges are refusing to refund the tuition fee — varying between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh — on the plea that students are not sending back the visa letters issued to them by the institutions.
Prospective students have now started questioning as how British institutions can hold back to their money for reasons beyond their control. They alleged that crores of rupees with the British colleges belonged to the people, who had no chance to go there now.
They further alleged that after the refusal of a visa without an interview, there was no provision for an appeal.
However, British colleges are maintaining that they cannot refund the fee deposited by the prospective student till he/ she returns the original letter of offer for admission, usually described as visa letter. Each applicant has to attach the same with his/ her visa application form.
Normally, after the visa application has been processed, all attached documents are returned to the applicant. But students, who have been refused the student visa by the British High Commission during the past few weeks, did not get back this original visa letter back with their passports. And of late, the refusal rate, allege students, has gone up to 90 per cent.
“It is a huge money which the British colleges are holding back and preventing us to use our money for trying our luck for admission elsewhere,” allege a group of students who got their refusal letters last week.
“No one is ready to listen to us or explain why our original letter is not being returned to us. How can we ask for refund when we do not have this letter? We are caught in a piquant situation,” allege students.
Sources said over a 1,000 applications for the student visa are filed every day. The British had simplified procedure for the student visa. An applicant with plus two qualification and with Rs 5 to 8 lakh in his/her bank account for 28 days or more was eligible to apply for the visa after getting admission to a British college.
They said the college required the applicant student to deposit full year’s tuition fee before it issued a letter of offer for admission or visa letter, which facilitated the grant of a visa to the applicant.