What is the UK Visa Bond?
Under a new scheme, the British Government would issue a six-month UK visa on the grounds that the visitor pays a refundable bond of £3,000 that they receive when they leave. This scheme will be for six countries, including India on a pilot basis, and if successful the planwould be rolled out permanently.The other five countries that the UK visa bond will affect are; Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana.
The bond has come under scrutiny from many, including;Nick Clegg. He said that he has no interest in backing and would actively oppose a bond that “becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to this country.”Nick Clegg went on to say that as he is in the coalition he “can stop things”.
When is it likely to come in?
The bond is still in the early stages of discussion, which means it is some way off from happening. Many, including the Indian High Commissioner to the UK JaiminiBhagwati, have said that they do not expect this bond to be introduced any time soon.
Why might it be introduced?
The plan was initially drawn up to ‘stop’ people from the six ‘high risk’ nations from overstaying their UK visa. Essentially, the £3,000 would act as a deterrent to those who thought about staying on for longer than their visa allowed. If the visa holder decided to stay longer,they would forfeit their bond.
What is the fall out?
Many high placed Indian and British government officials have condemned the plan, and written it off as ludicrous. Some experts have even suggested that the fact that the UK has made this known may damage the already strained relationship between both governments, even though there is no concrete plan.
The argument from many is that if anybody from India wants to stay in the UK illegally the £3,000 is not going to be enough of a deterrent. However, it could be off-putting to bona fide visitors from India, which means it could ultimately end up being completely counterproductive.