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In a curious case of immigration fraud, the US authorities is trying to figure out how a couple of Indians with student visa ended up with IELTS scores between 6.5 and 7 bands and yet, cannot mutter a word in english.
IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is an internationally standardised language proficiency exam for non-native English speakers. To secure a student visa, Indian citizens need to score about 4 and above in IELTS.
On Tuesday, the US authorities have asked Gujarat Police to launch an investigation on how some institutes are helping students to obtain high IELTS scores to get college admissions abroad, the PTI reported.
The matter was brought after six people, residing in Canada with a student visa, were arrested by US authorities in March this year from a sinking boat, near the border state of Akwesasne in US. The students were unable to speak in English in front of the judge despite having IELTS scores between 6.5 and 7.
According to the PTI report, while four of these people were from Mehsana, two were from Gandhinagar and Patan in Gujarat. These Indian citizens, of age between 19 and 21, obtained IELTS scores to secure admission into colleges in Canada in order to be smuggled into the US, the report added.
Leading the probe, Inspector Bhavesh Rathod of Mehsana police said the agency who undertook the exam maintained no transparency as CCTVs of the hall were turned off during the test held in September last year, it reported.
Rathod added that the agency, which conducted the exam, was based in Ahmedabad and the owner has been asked to appear before the police.
According to a report published in the Economic Times, there has been a 15 per cent rise in the number of Indian candidates who undertook the exam since pre-Covid years.
In India, the IELTS exam is conducted by several agencies, some of which include the British Council, Jamboree, Mega Mind, and Camford Academy, among others.
Candidates appearing for IELTS are evaluated on four aspects and their proficiency in the same. The four parts of the test include listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The overall score is then calculated, based on which the candidates can either obtain a visa or have to appear again, in case of a low score.
First Published: Wed, August 03 2022. 23:11 IST