UK Govt to abandon proposed £3,000 Visa Bond

UK’s Home Office has confirmed that plans for a £3,000 “security bond” for some “high risk” overseas visitors are to be abandoned.

The visa bond scheme was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June and was set to be introduced this month.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed in a Sunday Times’ report that the policy would be scrapped.

The decision is thought to have been taken after Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, threatened to block it.

The aim of the scheme was to reduce the number of people from some “high risk” countries – including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria – staying in the UK once their short-term visas had expired.

Visitors would have paid a £3,000 cash bond before arrival in the UK which would be forfeited if they failed to make the return trip.

Mr Clegg initially proposed the idea of a visitor bond in March, but 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 later, claimed the deputy prime minister’s plan, which had suggested a bond of £1,000, had been deliberately misinterpreted by some of their Conservative cabinet colleagues.
“What Nick Clegg said was if somebody in the Indian sub-continent, for example, was turned down for a visa, they could, as an alternative, come up with a bond… But the way some of our colleagues interpreted [it] was in a much more negative way, of saying that everybody who comes here should pay this very large bond,” Mr Cable said in September.
Mr Cable also criticised the level at which the bond was set and said that it had caused “outrage” in India.

He said both he and Nick Clegg would be arguing in government for a “much more sensible and flexible” approach to the policy.