Right of Appeal for TOEIC Test Scam Victims and Affected Students
The court decision (Ahsan v Secretary of State) enables all TOEIC test victims and students accused of cheating on the ETS/TOEIC English Language Test to have an opportunity to challenge the decision in-country. A fundamental right that should have been granted to the TOEIC test victims from the outset but in any event is now almost guaranteed following the conclusion of Ahsan v Secretary of State for the Home Department.
What the Court holds is that an out-of-country appeal right is not an effective remedy in the following circumstances where:
- it would be necessary for the appellant to give oral evidence on such an appeal; and
- facilities for them to do so by a video-link from the country to which an appellant will be removed are not realistically available
*What happens next?
Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.
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Impact of the Court Decision
TOEIC test court decision is critical for all migrants affected by the ETS/TOEIC stigma. Accordingly. this case is likely to have a notable impact on the Home Office’s policy to certify immigration decision so that applicants are again left with no in-country right of appeal. The Court of appeal found that the certification of one of the applicant’s case is subject to be quashed. The ruling does not directly depend on the issue of whether the appellant/victim deceived in the TOEIC test. However, the Court makes some observations about the appropriateness of certification where that is the determinative issue.
Who are the victims of the TOEIC Test Scandal?
There are 45,000-50,000 TOEIC test victims. The Home Office has either deported or refused entry clearance to the UK to the victims of the TOEIC Scam. The main TOEIC Victims, however, are international students, who opted for TOEIC instead of other approved English Language Test to fulfil student visa application requirements, especially for the Tier 4 Student Visa. And because of the decision of the Upper Tribunal, which has ruled that the deportation because of TOEIC Scam unlawful, there is an opportunity for the TOEIC Victims to challenge their deportation/refusal decision to not only re-enter the UK but may also get compensation for their losses.
Background of TOEIC/ETS Test Scandal
TOEIC had been one of the approved English Language Test until 2014. And applicants used to appear in TOEIC for many diverse types of applications such as:
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur and General
- PBS work visas such as Tier 2 General, ICT, Ministers of Religion etc.
- Tier 4 Student
- Spouse visa entry clearance, extension and ILR applications
Accordingly, like any other Test provider, TOEIC also conducted the language test at designated and approved test centres inside and outside the United Kingdom. In February 2014, BBC’s Panorama documentary revealed the malpractices in the approved English Language Test provider, i.e. students in connivance with a few test centres were getting the requisite English Language Certification rather than preparing and appearing the test.
The Home Office investigated the matter and used these findings to deport more than 45,000 international ETS/TOEIC test victims and affected students. Therefore, instead of using the evidence of fraud against the identified applicants, the Home Office used the evidence of its limited findings to deport ETS/TOEIC test victims and affected students en-masse without much rhyme or reason and case-specific details, i.e. whether a student or migrant has obtained the certification from TOEIC appropriately or inappropriately.