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The UK citizens – 16 students and three staff members from Poynton High School in Manchester in the UK — were told that they could not enter the country using the visa they were holding because they were going to work in an NGO in Chennai. The children landed in Chennai carrying crates of materials to be distributed to children’s homes supported by an NGO, India Direct.Immigration authorities at Chennai airport deported 19 UK citizens who arrived here on Monday to take part in a charity at a children’s home.The students had to wait 11 hours before they could board a return flight. The teacher who accompanied the children were interviewed for two and half hours by the immigration officials.Immigration officials refused to give information on the issue and also did not say what visa they were holding.“They all had valid tourist visas. Our itinerary included a day at each children’s home where they would play with the children and do crafts like painting, face painting and mask making. We were to go to a village with no medical facilities and play with the village children while family members were waiting to be seen by a doctor. The visa application eligibility criteria don’t not preclude this.”
The NGO said: “The team did not and do not feel this equates to working or volunteering for an NGO.”“On Monday, July 17, 2017, sixteen students and three staff members flew out to Chennai, India, to once again visit and support this great charity. However, they were turned back at immigration and refused entry into the country. Chennai airport immigration officials claimed that the group had no rights to enter the country on their visa because they were going to be undertaking work with a non-governmental organisation. “In reality, the students were going to visit children’s homes that they have raised thousands of pounds for, and to experience the rich, diverse and exciting culture of the region.
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