UK polls: Tories may revive visa bond plan for Indians
If the Conservative party comes to power after the May 7 elections, it would consider introducing ‘visa bonds’ for citizens of countries considered ‘high-risk’ for immigration purposes, home secretary Theresa May said this week.world Updated: Mar 05, 2015 22:53 IST
If the Conservative party comes to power after the May 7 elections, it would consider introducing ‘visa bonds’ for citizens of countries considered ‘high-risk’ for immigration purposes, home secretary Theresa May said this week.
Visa bonds for Indians were sought to be previously introduced — twice by Labour governments and by the David Cameron government in 2013 — but were dropped after much ire in New Delhi and criticism in the UK.
India was clubbed with countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka under the Cameron government’s plan but it was opposed by the ruling coalition partner, Liberal Democrats, and dropped in November 2013.
There were suggestions on previous such occasions that India could impose reciprocal bonds on British citizens applying for Indian visas.
May told The Times in an interview on Tuesday that she would like to look again at ‘visa bonds’, where visitors and migrants from India and other countries could be asked to put up cash to enter Britain.
The money would be repaid when they left, but only if they could demonstrate that they had not drawn on public services or the welfare state.
Under the 2013 plan, to be piloted in six countries, applicants for UK visa would need to deposit 3000 pounds as bond, which would be forfeited if they failed to return home.