This should make for very interesting discussions over the next few weeks. Visitors from ‘high risk’ countries in Africa and Asia will have to put up a £3,000 cash bond to enter Britain. That is the report we’re getting from the DailyMail UK.
The program is to ensure visitors from such ‘high risk’ countries don’t overstay their visiting visas. The money will be kept by the Government if visitors do not return home by the time their visas expire.
Introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May, the program will target people coming to Britain on six-month visit visas from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The countries are said to have the highest number of visa application, and also a high amount of immigration fraud and abuse.
The bonds, to be introduced from November, will only apply to non-EU migrants, otherwise they would fall foul of European rights to free movement.
‘This is the next step in making sure our immigration system is more selective, bringing down net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands while still welcoming the brightest and the best to Britain,’ Mrs May told the Sunday Times.
‘In the long run we’re interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services.’
A second scheme will cover countries such as Kenya, the newspaper reports, which are considered to be lower-risk because immigration officials have fewer doubts about migrants’ plans to return home.
About 2.2million people are granted visas to enter Britain every year. Last year 296,000 people from India were granted six-month visas, as were 101,000 from Nigeria, 53,000 from Pakistan and 14,000 apiece from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.