1. An In-Country Right of Appeal
TOEIC Test Scam Victims and Affected Students
The court decision 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.
An out-of-country appeal right is not an effective remedy
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 him/her to do so by a video-link from the country to which an appellant will be removed are not realistically available
Victims and Affected Students of TOEIC Test Scam
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. Perhaps, the ruling does not directly depend on the issue of whether or not 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 so as to fulfil student visa application requirements, especially for the Tier 4 Student Visa. And as a consequence of the decision of the Upper Tribunal, which has ruled that the deportation on the basis of TOEIC Scam unlawful, there is an opportunity for the TOEIC Victims to challenge their deportation/refusal decision so as to not only re-enter the UK but may also get compensation for their losses.
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TOEIC Test Scandal Victims and Affected Students
TOEIC had been one of the approved English Language Test until 2014. And applicants used to appear in TOEIC for many different 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 adequately preparing and appearing the test. Accordingly, the matter was investigated by the Home Office. Subsequently, the Home Office 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 mass 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.
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