Visa success higher for UED agencies

29, January, 2015

Applications by Turkish students for UK student visas are at least 10 per cent more likely to be successful through agency association UED, according to comparative Home Office figures obtained by Study Travel Magazine (STM).

Data on student visa application success rates provided to STM in a freedom of information request revealed 85 per cent of applications for either a student visitor visa or a Tier 4 student visa were successful in 2013. Members of UED, which tracks visa approval rates to the major study destinations in its annual survey, recorded a success rate of 95 per cent in the same year for their clients.

According to the Home Office data, there were 13,274 decisions made in 2013, from which 11,298 were granted.

The disparity between general and UED member success rates was even more pronounced in 2012, when the UK issued 9,815 visas at a success rate of 81.7 per cent, compared with the UED rate of 93 per cent.

UED Coordinator, Gokhan Islamoglu, said the higher success rate was testament to the importance of member agencies’ consultancy work on visa issues, the efforts of the UK embassy visa section and UED’s reputation.  

A high degree of professionalism is required, said Islamoglu. “It becomes more important than ever to be realistic and honest about each student’s visa refusal possibility. As a matter of fact, most important thing for a successful visa application is ensuring that the student’s needs and details of the programme/institution applied for are well matched. If a student’s profile is not suitable for visa acceptance, agencies must inform the student and try to orient him/her to a more suitable country or programme.”

He added, “It is also important that the necessary documents are being prepared without any mistakes, because our research shows us that almost half of the visa refusals are for suspicious travel purposes. So agencies must prepare a visa application file that can answer any question in a visa officer’s mind.”

UED supports its member agencies, Islamoglu said, by keeping good communication with embassies and consulates to inform about recent changes and new regulations as soon as possible, and supports the visa sections by bringing together the feedback from agencies and adding its own advice for a more effectively working visa system.

“On the other hand, UED’s internal education programmes organised in several subjects helps consultants to get necessary skills and up-to-date information for more successful visa applications,” he said.

UED currently has a membership of 44 agencies and is a member of the Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca). The results of UED’s annual member survey are presented by President, Eren Göker, at the Alphe Istanbul conference in April.

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