Absurd UK visa proposal

The new scheme only hurts the new visitors but not the people who actually overstayed their visas.

Editorial June 26, 2013
The move aims to limit the risks associated with hosting "high risk" visitors in the country. PHOTO: FILE

The United Kingdom’s new proposal to require a 3,000-pound bond by visitors from six high-risk, Afro-Asian countries — in which it includes India, Pakistan and Nigeria — has rightly been met with much disgruntlement and resentment. The UK Home Office has announced the scheme (to go into effect from November 1, if approved) in order to ensure that visitors to the country do not overstay the duration of their visit visas, or else they will forfeit their bonds. While the UK may have valid concerns about people overstaying in the country illegally, it already has other means in its system of law to deal with such visitors. Hence, we must question this move and ask whether it is necessary to have such a discriminatory law for people from a certain part of the world that is already beginning to lose trust and confidence in Western countries.

There is caution raised when Britain’s own senior politicians are condemning the government’s new plans to implement the new visa bond scheme. Many are of the opinion that such a move is unfair. Business leaders from India have also protested the new scheme. While the test run for the scheme is scheduled for a 12-month period, there are sure to be some consequences. For example, requiring people to pay an extra 3,000 pounds before travel places an extra burden on the people visiting the UK from these developing economies. This, in turn, could reduce the number of visitors to the UK, which could potentially drive tourism down as well.

Indeed, the new visa scheme has correctly met with debate and opposition. By imposing the new rule, perhaps the government has realised some issues with its current laws to handle visitors who overstay visas. In this case, it is not necessary to develop new laws, but rather, review old ones and work on revising them. With the new bond scheme, only new visitors are going to be punished while the old visitors, who might have actually overstayed their visas, seem to be losing the UK government’s focus.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2013.

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supreeta sampath | 8 years ago | Reply

@Jack: It's quite scary to read your comments. The fact that you deem yourself ''civilised'' and have the mentality that you do is quite laughable really. What exactly do you think a ''third world'' country is?? What is the ''7th century regerssive'' culture you refer to? You have to acknowledge your ''developed'' country's past and be aware of why its foriegn policy is the way it is. This kind of a proposal if approved is like a slap in the face for people like me who have chosen the UK as our home and are active contributors to its economy and culture. We do this and lose out on spending time with our family and this kind of a move would prevent people like my parents from coming to spend time with us. You have to remember an amount like £3000 would be 80 times that in their own currency and as retired people, wouldn't be a realistic amount of money to just have lying around for the Home Office to babysit and earn interest off. I'm sure there wouldn't be many locals who could afford that kind of money as a deposit?! I really hope this proposal doesnt go through as it is embarrasingly discriminitative and will alleniate a large number of Britains motley citizens.

supreeta sampath | 8 years ago | Reply

This move, if it is approved is such a devastating blow for people like me and my husband who have chosen Britain as our home and are contributing to it's economy and culture. We have done that by sacrificing having family around us and in turn support local employment in terms of childcare. We look forward to having our family visit us and this proposal will be a massive blow. This will allienate a huge part of the novo Britsh population and I think it is unfair and very discriminating. I understand the need to control immigration. Of course!! But to punish the large number that do adhere to the rules in order to get the small number that don't seems archaic. My parents are retired and will not be able to put down, what in their currency, will be 80 times the amount!! I'm sure many british citizens themselves won't be able to spare £3000 just like that!!!!

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