London, January 31: Britain has suspended student visa applications from northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal after an alarming jump in number of applicants, even as the authorities fear that unscrplulous agents are preparing to push thousands into bogus colleges in the UK.
The UK Border Agency today said in the last three months of last year, there were 13,500 applications from north India alone, compared with 1,800 in the same period of 2008.
British officials said the system has been overwhelmed and there are concerns that many cases are not genuine.
Unscrupulous offers of visas as a way of settling in the UK are not uncommon.
While extra checks take place, visa applications have been temporarily suspended – a decision which will be reviewed at the end of February.