A private language school estimated to owe its overseas students up to €500,000 has applied for voluntary liquidation despite proposing, at the time of its shock closure last November, to reopen this week.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) issued a statement saying it was informed of the move by the Dublin-based Shelbourne College yesterday.
It said Shelbourne College will now be immediately removed from the Internationalisation Register, which means no immigration permission will be issued in respect of it.
INIS said it is aware of allegations that the college has failed to refund monies due to certain students whose visa applications were refused and said affected students should continue to pursue this issue with the college.
The Irish Council for International Students said 60 students in Ireland were owned €4,000-€5,000 each, while dozens more from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines who were never able to come to Ireland were said to be owed similar amounts.
INIS said: “It should be noted that if a private business is allegedly involved in defrauding a person with whom it has dealings this is a matter for the application of criminal law and should be reported to An Garda Síochána for appropriate criminal and/or fraud investigation.
“A college taking money from students pending a visa application is fully aware that they have no entitlement to those funds until the student is confirmed as being allowed to come to Ireland as a student.
Students held a morning vigil outside the building on Camden St yesterday.
The Irish student visa system requires many non-EU citizens who wish to study here to first pay their fees to a number of approved colleges. It is only then that prospective students can apply for an entry visa. However, a problem can arise if the visa application is subsequently rejected.
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