U.K. Shiatsu Society Warns Overseas Students About Visa Immigration Abuse

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More than 300 schools of different kinds have closed because of their inability to satisfy the governmentÂ?s new and stringent registration requirements for student visas.

All schools have recently come under scrutiny. Any school purporting to offer education or training to overseas students from outside the European Union must satisfy the authorities that it is a genuine learning provider.

Students from overseas have always needed a student visa to study shiatsu in the United Kingdom. They have had to prove payment of the school fee and ability to support themselves for the length of their intended stay.

The society's recent survey of shiatsu schools shows that only a few of even the most established would be able to comply with the new registration requirements. It is not enough to have been established for a number of years, existing students, or reciprocal links with overseas schools or organizations. It must also be recognized as a school of shiatsu on the Department of Education & Skills Register of learning providers.

Kris Deva North, Master of the Zen School of Shiatsu in London, says “We were lucky. We have permanent premises but still had to prove ownership, teachers’ educational as well as shiatsu qualifications, and a history of training visa-students. The Inspectors also wanted to see bank statements and audited accounts, a printed prospectus, policy documents, records of attendance and other relevant documentation. We were already a registered learning provider for Career Development Loans but this is a different set-up entirely.”

This new government policy is a wake-up call for U.K. shiatsu schools to check out their administration, support and control systems.

Schools and societies advising members -- or students thinking of visiting the United Kingdom for shiatsu training courses -- should direct them to the Department of Education & Skills Register. Schools are not permitted to use their registration for marketing.

More information can be found at the Zen Shiatsu Society Web site http://www.zen-shiatsu-society.co.uk/shiatsu_schools.htm.

For the Department of Education & Skills Register of learning providers visit http://www.dfes.gov.uk/providersregister/.

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