KARACHI: It is every student’s nightmare. You arrive at a UK airport only to be sent back because of visa problems.
This nightmare became a reality for 12 students last year who left Karachi to study in the UK. The United Kingdom’s Border Agency (UKBA) turned the students away for several different reasons even though they had, for all intents and purposes, the correct paperwork.
Ikhlaq Ahmed and Shahista Naz were two such students. They were told to leave by the UKBA because their names were not on the admissions list for their university.
However, this does not make sense insofar as the British High Commission only issues students in Pakistan visas once their college or university has confirmed that they have indeed been enrolled.
The institution has to “sponsor” them. For these students, some of whom were in their final academic year, the problem is that their degrees are left incomplete. As their visas are stamped as cancelled, they are likely to have to reapply with no guarantee. They were sent back from several different UK airports.
FIA immigration sources said they had proper visas and many of them were final-year students. If they want to get a visa again they will have to go through the entire process all over again without success being assured.
On January 5, Naveed Khan (June 2008 visa) went to the UK and Oxford College of Management Sciences, London. In November 2009 he came back home for holidays and when he got back on January 3, the UKBA refused entry. He was told that he did not inform the Home Affairs office before leaving.
Not so different was the story of Sheeba Kiran, Sheikh Shahid Rasool, Rao Mohammad, Obaid Syed, Moaz Javed, Syed Shakeel Raza, Abdul Samad, Adil Khan and others. When approached, deputy director immigration Malik Subha Sadiq said he could not comment on UK laws.