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UK visa bond proposal scrapped

Good news for anyone considering a visit to Britain. Recent UK immigration news indicates that a controversial plan to charge visitors from so-called 'high risk' countries a deposit for their visa.

If the plans had gone ahead, tourists from India on a six month UK tourist visa would have had to pay a deposit of GBP 3,000 (300,000 rupees) to secure their visa. This would have been paid as a bond: if you left the UK within the time allocated by your visa, the money would be returned. If you overstayed, even by one day, the money could be forfeit.

UK Visa

Why propose UK visa bonds?

The proposal aimed to reduce the number of people entering the country legitimately on a UK tourist visa and then overstaying in order to work or study. The proposal was made by Teresa May, UK Home Secretary and a Conservative politician. Traditionally the core supporters of the Conservative party have been anti-immigration. It seems that Conservative UK politicians currently in government believe that reducing immigration will encourage voters to support them at the next elections.

The visa bond proposal is part of a series of attempts to reduce net UK immigration. The focus is on bringing migration into balance, so approximately the same number of people are leaving the country each year as are arriving. Unfortunately, many people frame this as a 'war' on illegal immigrants or suggest banning immigration entirely. However, evidence suggests that overall the UK benefits from immigration and that many British people believe immigration is a good thing. With so many people moving to and from the UK each year, particularly for education purposes, achieving balance as the Conservatives describe is unlikely.

Why were UK visa bonds scrapped?

There was a strong negative reaction from business leaders, other government departments and the Liberal Democrats, with whom the Conservative party shares power. Some opponents believe that restricting tourism and UK business visas in this way would damage the economy, which is likely to be correct as a significant number of the visitors pouring money into the country come from so-called 'high risk' countries.

Others believe that visa bonds are an acceptable solution, however they object to the way the idea was implemented. By targeting only visitors from certain countries, the Home Office opened itself up to being called racist or discriminatory.

Both Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg objected to the scheme. This opposition seems to have led Home Secretary Teresa May to withdraw it.

Could a UK visa bond scheme be a good thing?

A proposal by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggests using visa bonds as a way to assist people who don't meet the standard criteria for a UK visa to be able to visit the country. This proposal would allow visitors to bypass some of the UK visa applications process, instead paying a bond which would be returned when the left the country or forfeit if they overstayed their visa. As a premier visa consultancy, MoreVisas could not support the original proposal by Teresa May, but we are in favour of creating more visa application routes and allowing more people to travel for work, leisure or to start a new life.  

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Disclaimer - MoreVisas immigration service Pvt.Ltd. does not offer consulting on student visas/ Overseas jobs/work permits/international or domestic placements.
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