Nigerians stranded in UK after paying ‘agents’ for non-existent jobs


Scammers posing as
United Kingdom (UK) skilled worker visa agents are offering non-existent jobs
to unsuspecting Nigerians.

A Sky News investigation has
found that these job offers are costing victims huge sums of money.

Blessing, whose name has been changed to protect her
identity, told Sky News that she paid £10,000 to an “agent” in Nigeria for the
job of a carer in the UK.

After she arrived in the UK three months ago, Blessing said
she discovered that she had paid for a non-existent job.

Blessing, who now relies on handouts from a Nigerian food
bank, said she did not make the application herself because it is difficult to
tell real from fake in her home country.

“It makes me feel as though I’m a fool,” Sky News quoted her
as saying.

“I would have done it myself but there are so many frauds on
the internet [in Nigeria] you don’t know what’s real.

 “I’ve always provided
for myself. I’m a very hard-working, diligent person.

“So for me to be here depending on people to eat, coming to
the food bank to get food, isn’t ok with me.

“There are so many. Dozens. I met a lot here and so many are
still coming after I’ve come. There’s a big scam going on,” she added.


For a skilled worker visa,
the UK government charges from £625 to £1,423, depending on the applicant’s
location and extent of stay.

An annual healthcare surcharge of £624, and an availability
of £1,270 for the applicant to prove that they can support themselves in the
UK, are also required.

Interested persons are required to apply directly to the UK
government while providing supporting documents.

Health and care workers represented 86% of long-term
sponsored work visas granted and over half of all work visas granted to
applicants in 2022, according to the UK’s Home Office.

Mary Adekugbe, founder of the Nigerian Community Centre in
Rochdale, a town in Greater Manchester, told Sky News that she has been
overwhelmed by it all.

“About 15 of the 35-40 people who generally come to the
weekly food bank have skilled worker visas,” she said.

 “We are overwhelmed,
people are desperate. It’s so worrying.”

Rishi Sunak, UK’s prime minister, has consistently re-echoed
his plans to control immigration.

Some of the measures taken so far include
restricting foreign students from bringing family members with them, a change
in the visa switch route, and a review of the funds needed for upkeep.



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