Britain to introduce bail-like security bonds for visitors
Foreigners visiting the UK from certain countries will have to put up bail-like bonds worth thousands of pounds to deter them from overstaying their visas, under new proposals announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg here.
"In certain cases, when a visa applicant is coming from a high risk country, in addition to satisfying the normal criteria, UKBA (UK Border Agency) would be able to request a deposit - a kind of cash guarantee. Once the visitor leaves Britain, the bond will be repaid," Clegg said, adding the UKBA will draw up a list of these high-risk countries to run a pilot scheme by the end of this year.
While the agency is yet to confirm the countries likely to be classified as "high risk", there is speculation in the British media that it would include Pakistan and a few other countries in the Indian sub-continent, as well as some in the Middle East.
The bonds would cost at least 1,000 pounds rising to as much as several thousand pounds for visitors from the countries deemed to pose the highest risk.
"The bonds would need to be well-targeted - so that they don't unfairly discriminate against particular groups. The amounts would need to be proportionate - we mustn't penalize legitimate visa applicants who will struggle to get hold of the money.
Visiting Britain to celebrate a family birth, or a relative's graduation, or wedding, should not become entirely dependent
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