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UK Visa Bond to Apply Only To "A Few"

UK Visa
The UK Visa Bond has caused quite a stir among the Coalition and UK and Indian Governments even though the proposal is still very much “under consideration”. Now, James Bevan, the British High Commissioner to India, has said that the proposed bond will only apply to a few cases where the risk of violation is high, but there is not enough reason not to issue a visa altogether.

Bevan went on to say that “It may come into existence or it may not in the future”, and that a decision would be made in “due course”.

Indian authorities against the visa

Bevan said that he had spoken to Indian authorities who had made it clear they didn’t want the visa to be introduced in any capacity, even for high-risk cases.The visa, which would affect residents from six countries, including India, would make ‘risky' cases pay £3,000 that they would only receive if they left the UK as per their visa conditions.

Anand Sharma (Commerce and Industry Minister) has said that a country that is classed as a strategic partner cannot be seen as high-risk in the bracket with some of the other countries.

90% of Indian applications accepted

Bevan made it clear that he didn’t think this visa would change foreign relations and tourists, students and businessmen and women from India would not be affected if they were not risky. He said that 90% of visa applications from India were currently accepted and that the bond would only be relevant to high-risk cases, which would mean ‘normal’cases would still be accepted.

A decision on the visa will not be made quickly

Bevan stressed that there was no time-frame for this visa and that a quick decision would not be made because it was “not right”.  There are clearly a lot of points that need to be worked out to stop there being an issue between India and the UK and the Coalition Government.

Bevan said that what constitutes high-risk is still being looked into, but it “may” include people that hadn’t been to the UK before and don’t have enough money to stay for the period of their visa.

To sum up Bevan said “A bond will be needed only in case of a serious worry, not otherwise”. This will be a relief to some, but it is not likely to decrease any tensions between the UK and Indian Governments.

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