Friday, 28 June 2013

[HM:256448] UK Visa requires 17000 AED security

UK plans Dh17,000 visa bond for 'high-risk' Indians, Pakistanis

A pilot scheme would target visitors from these nations who apply for a 6-month visit visa beginning November

  • Vicky Kapur
Published Monday, June 24, 2013

The United Kingdom is contemplating to force visitors from India, Pakistan and four other 'high-risk' countries in Asia and Africa to pay a £3,000 (Dh17,000) cash bond before they can enter Britain, a report said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that from November, a pilot scheme would target visitors from those two countries plus Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana who apply for a six-month visit visa, which will be granted in lieu of the cash bond.

The bond will be forfeited if visitors from these countries, whose nationals are deemed to pose a 'high risk' of immigration abuse, overstay their visa's validity period.

"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," the paper quoted Home Secretary Theresa May as saying.

The weekly also quoted an unnamed Home Office official saying that the six countries highlighted were those with "the most significant risk of abuse".

The weekly paper said that, initially, the scheme will target hundreds of visitors, but the plan is to eventually extend it to several thousands.

"From November, a pilot scheme will target visitors from seven countries who will have to pay the government a form of cash guarantee or deposit to deter immigration abuse. They will forfeit the £3,000 if they overstay in Britain and fail to return to their home countries by the time their visa has expired," the newspaper noted in its report.

The newspaper noted that the move by Home Secretary Theresa May is designed to show that Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party is serious about cutting immigration and abuses of the system.

Prime Minister Cameron has stated in the past that he wants annual net migration down below 100,000 by 2015, and this is being seen as one of the steps in that direction.

"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," May was quoted as saying.

Last year 296,000 people granted six-month visas were from India, 101,000 from Nigeria, 53,000 from Pakistan and 14,000 each were from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. 

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