London, June 23 (IANS) The British government is to introduce a new scheme requiring visitors from "high risk" countries in Africa and Asia, including India and Pakistan, to put up a 3,000-pound (over $4,600) cash bond before entering Britain.
The pilot scheme, introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May, will target hundreds of people coming to Britain on six-month visit visas from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. And the money will be kept by the government if visitors do not return home by the time their visas expire, Daily Mail reported Sunday.
The countries have been picked for their high number of visa applications and what the government views as relatively high levels of immigration abuse and fraud.
The bonds, to be introduced from November, will only apply to non-EU migrants, otherwise they would fall foul of European rights to free movement.
"This is the next step in making sure our immigration system is more selective, bringing down net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands while still welcoming the brightest and the best to Britain," the British home secretary said.
The pilot scheme will later be extended to cover work permits and student visas.
Last year 296,000 people from India were granted six-month visas, as were 101,000 from Nigeria, 53,000 from Pakistan and 14,000 from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka each.