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UK Gov’t Scraps Controversial £3,000 Visa Bond Scheme   
 
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04-Nov-2013  
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One of the most unpopular immigration proposals of the Conservative-led coalition government in the United Kingdom, which envisaged subjecting visitors from six “high-risk” Commonwealth countries to pay a surety of £3000 for a visa to the U.K., has been withdrawn.

The bond was to deter over stayers as part of the government's intention to reduce the number of immigrants to less than 100,000 per year. An applicant would have to forfeit the amount unless they left when required.

The scheme, if introduced, would have been applicable to visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana. The fee would be over and above the existing visa costs.

The scheme caused outrage in the countries that it would have impacted. It was condemned with equal force by immigrant groups within the U.K. — from the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to the large coalition of groups that united under the banner of the Indian Workers Association.

The bond was to deter over stayers as part of the government's intention to reduce the number of immigrants to less than 100,000 per year. An applicant would have to forfeit the amount unless they left when required.

The scheme, to have been introduced on a pilot basis this month, was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June.

But a Spokesperson for the British Home Office says the proposal of a visa bond has now been dropped.

To buttress the confirmation, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Peter Jones, is quoted in a press release saying since “The UK wants the brightest and the best to help create the jobs and growth that will enable Britain to compete in the global race,” anyone can visit the country.

“Be in no doubt: Britain is open for business,” he said.


Below is the statement issued by the British High Commission In Ghana on the subject….


UK GOVERNMENT DECIDES NOT TO PROCEED WITH VISA BOND SCHEME

The UK government remains committed to tackling immigration abuse and has been looking at a range of options. One of those options was a financial bond. The British Government has now decided not to proceed with the option of a financial bond. A spokesperson for the British Home Office said on 3 November:

"The Government has been considering whether we pilot a bond scheme that would deter people from overstaying the visa. We have decided not to proceed."

Speaking in Ghana, British High Commissioner Peter Jones said today:

“The UK wants the brightest and the best to help create the jobs and growth that will enable Britain to compete in the global race. So, for example, if you are an overseas business person seeking to invest and trade with world class businesses, one of the thousands of legitimate students keen to study at our first-class universities or a tourist visiting our world class attractions, be in no doubt: Britain is open for business.”
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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