UK visa bond scheme scrapped

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The visa bond scheme, which was set to be introduced this month has been scrapped.

It was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June this year after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg threatened to block it.

Under the plan, visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana seeking a six- month British visa would have been obliged to pay a refundable 3,000- pound cash bond to deter them from overstaying. It would be forfeited if they failed to make the return trip.

The government chose those

countries because they were "high risk" sources of illegal immigration, it said.

Polls show that immigration is one of the most important issues for voters in Britain.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg initially said the bond plan was an idea worth exploring, but changed his mind after some in his party called it discriminatory. Under his version of the policy, it would only apply to people from "high risk" countries who had been refused a visa through the normal route.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has criticised the level at which the bond was set and said that it had caused "outrage" in India.


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