London-is considered as one of the most luxurious cities in the world. People come from everywhere, searching for new versions of themselves. The statistics of Greater London Authority says that, ‘‘London typically has a high international inflow and lower international outflow that means the population is increasing every year’’
This increasing population of London has pros and cons at the same time. Every year, international students flow to London in search of better education and good life conditions. Not doing enough research about their universities is another major obstacle to consider. The truth behind the increasing influx of students is that they only have to attend the university for two or three days while working the rest of the week. Most students want to live in this country anyhow to obtain permanent residency. To obtain PR, one must have to work in this country for five years. Because of this, many students are trapped by scammers.
According to 2020/2021 statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, there are currently 605,130 international students pursuing their degrees in the UK.
‘‘As an international student, renting a place to stay has been the most difficult for me. I live in London, and the rent here for a single room is over £400. I knew it's expensive to live in London, but I had no idea that it would be so difficult to find suitable accommodation here even after spending a lot from my budget’’-Tanjima Elham, a student from Bangladesh, studying at Roehampton University.
This is not a rare incident. Almost every student has to struggle to find an accommodation that fits their budget. Even if they find one, they have to pay rent and huge deposit. One of the main scams is based on rental houses and properties. Most of them depend on applications like Gumtree, spare room and Facebook marketplace. Facebook marketplace is a platform where individuals post pictures of spacious and luxurious rooms and properties on a low budget. Those who see these advertisements will contact them.
‘‘We were looking for a flat and the one contacted, told us that he and his family are on a vacation. He gave me the pictures and details of the house that we enquired. I asked him if we could see the property and the owner in person. His response was that I need to pay two months deposit and rent in advance’’.-Nandan-Restaurant Manager, Pali Kitchen.
Their lack of knowledge is highly exploited by these scammers. Before giving rent and deposit, you have to make sure that you have seen the property and signing required documents: otherwise, they can kick you out without any reason.
Health care visa
Lots of students and their dependents work in the health care sector as part-time or full-time workers. Getting a job as a health car worker is easy because it’s not mandatory that you must have previous experience or educational qualifications to work in this sector.
Students who started working in the health sector as part-time jobs will convert their student visa to work visas to gain permanent residency. Numerous agencies recruit people for the health care sector and there are some fake agencies and individuals who mainly target students because it’s easy to deceive them in the name of work visas and residency.
According to UK Council for International Student Affairs, ‘‘Some criminals specifically target international students, telephoning them and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation(such as the UK Home office, an education agent or even UKCISA)’’.
Some of them are deported from this country as they try to switch their visa without completing their course and without informing their university. They are suspected during visa interviews as they are not able to provide credible answers to the questions.
Life in the UK is fascinating; this is heaven to live in, with the world’s best restaurants, casinos, parties, cars, wealthy neighbourhoods and so on. There's nothing stopping you from enjoying every corner of London. But before enjoying the richness of this city, make sure that you are aware of the dark side also.
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