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How will £3000 bond for UK visa affect Indian visitors

DNPUN60300 | 6/25/2013 | Author : Rajesh Rao | WC :532

British govt plans restriction to check abuse and illegal migration

With number of globetrotting Indian tourists increasing exponentially and countries world over trying to win their attention, UK has plans to cut on immigration and tourists, by slapping £3000 pounds (Rs2.7 lakh) cash bonds for UK visa on visitors from India and four other nations.
How this hefty visa fee will affect those going to UK will be a matter of confusion and concern, if the country goes on to label Indian tourists as high risk.
The plan of charging a deposit of GBP 3000 at this stage is still a proposition and not a legislation, said Shivang Dhruva, Director at Options Unlimited, a city-based consultants for overseas education and visa.
"There is still no official news on the government and immigration website. I feel this would not be a blanket rule for all tourists or applicants and may be imposed systematically on those whom they feel are going with the intent of work," he said.
However, senior visa executive from city-based visa service provider, BTW Visa Services, Karve Road Branch, Ashish Choukate, expressed fear that if UK goes ahead with £3000 cash bond from Indian visitors, it is big money and will affect the visitors flow to UK.
"We receive over 900 applications per month, for visitors visa to UK during the peak season between March-May and Diwali vacations. There may be a 50% drop due to this cash bond. Majority of these 900 visitors are budget travellers, who will not be able to dole an extra 2.7 lakh rupees," he said.
He informed that the UK visa application fees has been increased three times this year without notification, Rs6,800 (April), Rs7,200 (May) and Rs7,600 in June.
A senior citizen from Pune, S Ghorpade, who has plans to visit his daughter in UK during the Diwali vacation this year on visitors visa, said that he will have to cancel the plans if he will be charged extra.
Dhruv said that the cash bond plan will be only for visitors and not for those intending to study in UK. If the regulation comes into effect, he said, "It will surely impact those applying to visit UK. The same is being imposed due to the abuse of the system where individuals apply for a visitor visa and work in the UK illegally and overstay and eventually apply for asylum or other benefits."
He said constant abuse and illegal migration has forced the government to consider the step.

High Commission issues clarification

The British High Commission in Mumbai on Monday stated that the proposal by the UK Home Office to run a pilot requiring financial bonds from visitors would apply to select persons only. All visitors will not be required to pay the bond and the pilot will be highly selective to focus on the highest risk applicants.
Also, the number of bonds issued during the pilot will be limited. The bond payment will be returned when the visitor returns home within the period specified in the visit visa. Children under 18 will be exempt.
“We’re interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” said Teresa May, UK home secretary.



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