The government has admitted Home Office staff have lost track of over 71,000 people who had their student visa expire in 2015. Currently most international students apply for a Tier 4 visa before studying in the UK and there is no limit on the number of student visas that can be issued.
The figures were revealed in a report by immigration chief, David Bolt. In his report, Bolt claims there is a lack of process to monitor cases to check whether individuals with expired visa have departed the UK, whether voluntarily or via enforcement action. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has come under scrutiny for her handling of the escalating situation.
This comes after NUS leaders and politicians won a case last month against the deportation of Glasgow student, Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi. A current MA student at University of Strathclyde and elected Asylum and Refugee Officer on the NUS Scotland’s executive committee, Lord received support from students and MPs across the country to halt his deportation. Although the Home Office do not comment on individual cases, the NUS released a statement claiming this was due to “human error” in the home office and Lord was not to blame.
Furthermore in the past few days, pressure has been placed on the Home Secretary to reconsider the deportation of an Australian family in Scotland, after the student visa they rely on expired. The parents are both currently teachers in local institutions with their son exceeding in the local school. Ian Blackford MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber- where the family are located, has joined local leaders in preaching the contribution the family have made to the local community.