Controversial plans for a £3,000 bond for UK Visa applicants from a limited number of “high risk” countries have been scrapped.The visa bond scheme was announced in June 2013 by Home Secretary Theresa May and was due to commence this month.The proposed scheme had met with significant concern, with many calling it a “discriminatory and unnecessary change”.
It is thought that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had threatened to block the scheme and that departments against the proposed scheme included the Foreign Office, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The aim of the scheme was to reduce the number of people from “high risk” countries – including Nigeria, Pakistan and India – over-staying in the UK.
The proposed bond had caused “outrage” in India and a number of other countries, with accusations of discrimination.
Many have felt that this scheme and a plethora of other schemes, such as the failed “go home” messages on vans in London, are simply attempts to court public opinion. Some commentators have suggested that politicians have misjudged public opinion on “immigration” and that the majority of the public are against the “open doors” EU policy of free movement rather than being against skilled workers from outside the EEA coming to the UK.
Concern has been expressed that the Government are more concerned with stopping British Citizens bringing the non-EEA Spouses to the UK or stopping students coming here to study than they are in dealing with the real issues that certain forms of unrestricted immigration pose.