This Article is From Jun 25, 2013

India to take up Rs 2.75 lakh visa bond issue with UK govt

India to take up Rs 2.75 lakh visa bond issue with UK govt
New Delhi: With the British government planning to demand a Rs 2.75 lakh visa bond from visitors of certain "high-risk" countries including India, the Ministry of External Affairs today said that the government will seek information and implications from UK on the new policy.

"The ministry has asked our mission in London to find out official details on reports about a possible new scheme that the UK is trying to introduce that may have implications on Indians visiting that country," spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said today.

Mr Akbaruddin added that once the ministry receives the details, the government may take up the matter in the Indo-UK consular dialogue scheduled to take place next month in London.

Official sources have said the matter was not discussed in the annual India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) held in London last week.

The UK Home Office has announced the pilot scheme for the six high-risk Afro-Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Nigeria, to run for 12 months from November. Under the plans, certain visitors from these countries planning a visit to Britain will be required to furnish a refundable 3,000 pounds bond in a bid to prevent them overstaying their visa.

Indians all over Britain have protested against the policy and called it "unfair" and "discriminatory".

The Confederation of the Indian Industry too reacted strongly against the changes in the UK's visa policy. It issued a statement on Monday evening that said, "The changes are not only discriminatory they are also against the 'special relationship' publicised by the UK government. We share the UK's concern on illegal immigration but surely there are other more effective and non-discriminatory ways to put a check on it."