Select nationals from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana, would be required to cough up £3,000 as cash bond if travelling to Britain. The pilot would be rolled out from November and it is expected to affect “a few hundred Indian” visa applicants. UK processes around four lakh visa applications from India every year.
Children under 18 years will be exempted and the money will be returned if the visitor returns within the specified time limit of his visa, the British High Commission said in a release.
The project intends to keep a tab on high-risk visitors and show that the ruling Conservative Party is serious about cutting down immigration and misuse of the present visa system.
“This is the next step in making sure our immigration system is more selective, bringing down net immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands, while still welcoming the brightest and the best to Britain,” home secretary Theresa May said.
The project will apply to visitor visas, but if the scheme is successful, the scheme may be applied on an intelligence-led basis on any country.
“The pilot project will be highly selective and focused on the highest risk applicants,” the British High Commission explained.