The UK Home Office is planning a one-year pilot scheme from November this year which will require financial bonds from only the highest risk applicants and not all visitors from the selected pilot countries.
The British High Commission stated in a press release that the pilot is aimed at testing the effectiveness of the bonds as a deterrent against visa abuse, such as overstaying.
The bond will be set at £3000 per adult while children under 18 will be exempt.
The UK Home Office is planning to run a pilot from November which will require financial bonds from selected visitors. This pilot will run for twelve months starting in November. The purpose of this pilot is to test the effectiveness of bonds as a deterrent against visa abuse, such as overstaying. This pilot scheme will operate in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana.
The pilot will be highly selective and focused on the highest risk applicants – we will not require all visitors from the selected pilot countries to pay a bond. The number of bonds issued during the pilot will be limited.
The level of the bond will be set at £3000 per adult; children under 18 years will be exempt.
The bond payment will be returned if the visitor returns home after their visit visa has expired and within the time period specified by their visa.
To bring the scheme into force, the Home Secretary will lay a Commencement Order before Parliament to activate the power in the Immigration and Nationality Act 1999 to require a bond from visitors, and make changes to the Immigration Rules to establish the pilot schemes.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“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.
“In the long run we’re interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services.
“We’re planning a pilot that focuses on overstayers and examines a couple of different ways of applying bonds. The pilot will apply to visitor visas, but if the scheme is successful we’d like to be able to apply it on an intelligence-led basis on any visa route and any country.”
Following careful evaluation, the Home Secretary will then decide whether to establish a permanent scheme.