By SHIANEE MAMANGLU/Manila Bulletin
Two Filipino health workers who allegedly made false claims about their funds have been denied student visas to enter the United Kingdom (UK) and may now have to wait for a decade before applying again, a migration official disclosed Sunday.
Diana Rose Bron and Jezel Camacho were refused permission after the UK consular office-Manila was unable to confirm the authenticity of their bank certifications, said Emmanuel Geslani.
“This should serve as a warning to all health workers who will be submitting false documents because they will not only be refused entry but also barred from going there for a period of 10 years,’’ he said.
Citing records he culled, Geslani said the bank certifications of the two students were issued in a province in Northern Luzon although they are residents of Bicol.
He said the consular office was unable to verify the authenticity of the funds claimed by the students, and, thus was declared outright that their bank documents were “fraudulent.”
Geslani said that bank certifications are needed to show that applicants for student visas have the financial capacity to live in the UK, pay for their tuition fee and living expenses such as accommodation, food and transportation for a period of nine months.
Depending on their UK location, he said the recommended amount for each student ranges from P450, 000 to P650,000. “This amount should be deposited in the accredited bank which issues the certification to the applicant. The certificate is one of the documents that has to be submitted by the student to the UK embassy in Manila,’’ he said.
The students were assisted by the International Student Advisors (ISA), a consultancy office, who admitted to have affirmed the certifications since these were issued by the bank.
According to him, the ISA had expressed belief there was nothing wrong with the students’ applications, except for their funds.
Meanwhile, Geslani bared that Filipino nurses migrating to the UK has now surpassed deployment of nurses to the United States.
The official attributed the decline in deployment of foreign nurses to US to its stringent immigration policies.
“Filipino nurses hoping to work in the US may have to wait 5-7 years for H 1-B working visas and 2-3 years for EB 3 (immigrant visas) before they can enter the US while those interested in improving their academic qualifications can enter the UK under a study and work program introduced fours years ago by a leading international consultancy office within six months,’’ he said.
Citing 2007-2009 data from the UK Borders and Immigration Agency, he said the annual average of Filipino nurses who have left for the UK under a study and work program was pegged at 7,000.
Figures from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), on the other hand, showed that from 2003-2009 there was only an annual average of less than 300 Registered Nurses (RNs) who were allowed entry to the US using H1-B work and EB-3 immigration visas.
Moreover, Geslani said that nurse deployment to Saudi Arabia continue to be high with an average of 8, 000 yearly.
The annual deployment to the Kingdom is more than half of the yearly average of 13,000 nurse deployment by the POEA to various countries including the US, he said.