The Swiss government has denied entry to any European Union country for 50 Indian students from Kerala after they submitted forged admission letters to a Swiss school during the visa application.
The forged document, which caused these students to be banned from entering the 27-nation-bloc until October 21, 2024, was provided to them by a Kochi-based language institute, believed to be “Farbe School of Foreign Languages”, the director of which is suspected of having collected hundred thousand of rupees from students, promising them entry to Benedict School in Bern along with an internship of €2341.48 (₹200,000) monthly allowance.
The students were informed about the fraud on October 22, 2021, when they received a letter from the Swiss government claiming the admission letter of the Bern-based school was forged.
“It was after we successfully completed the A1 level exam in the German language that the managing director came up with an offer that he could help us get an admission in a school in Switzerland that also offers a monthly stipend. Though he demanded ₹ 5 lakh (€5,835) from each applicant, it was later reduced to ₹ 3 lakh (€3,512) as a special offer and collected ₹ 2 lakh (€2,341) as advance payment,”a complaint filed by one of the students reads.
According to a report filed before February 1, “there is no need to arrest the accused for the time being”, while a senior police officer claims the institute tried to silence the matter by returning the money to students after the fraud was revealed.
“I have not issued any admission letter to the students. Also, there are only 13 students affected by the goof-up and not 50 as alleged. I have taken the matter with the Hyderabad agency, and they have initiated the process requesting the Switzerland Embassy to lift the ban. The students are expected to get a letter from the Swiss government lifting their ban in the next 20 to 22 days,”the director of the language training centre, identified as Gireesh, said while also pointing out that admission letters were done by a Hyderabad-based global education firm he is linked to.
Such attempts for studying, working or living in Switzerland can be related to the fact the country is among the most beneficial for its residents. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), about 93 per cent of higher education graduates in the country were hired in a job that corresponds with their level of academic preparation.
Moreover, the minimum wage in Switzerland stands at approximately CHF 6,538 (€6,233), as the Service of the Confederation, Cantons and Communes in Switzerland reveals. On the other hand, the average wage in India is about ₹16,000 (€187.32) – about 97 per cent lower than in Switzerland.
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