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India and Nigeria welcome UK axing £3k visa bond

India and Nigeria – two of the six so called “high risk” countries – have welcomed the UK government’s plans to scrap the visa bond scheme that may have forced visitors to forfeit a £3,000 cash payment if they overstayed their short-term visitor visa.

"We are happy to learn that UK government has taken on board our concerns"

“It is a mighty relief to hear that the idea has been abandoned”

Days ahead of David Cameron’s visit to India on November 14, the Home Office announced, “the government has been considering whether to pilot a bonds scheme that would deter people from overstaying their visa and has decided not to proceed”.

A spokesperson continued, “The government is committed to ensuring that Britain continues to attract the brightest and the best to work and study here.  Britain is open for business and genuine students, business visitors and tourists are always welcome.”

India’s Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the news with a statement from its spokesperson, Syed Akbaruddin, who said “we are happy to learn that UK government has taken on board our concerns as well as concerns expressed by other quarters.”

He added, “The UK and India have a strategic partnership. People-to-people contacts provide strength and durability to our long-standing warm and friendly ties with the UK.”

Nigerian newspaper, Leadership, also reported the Nigerian High Commissioner’s – Dr Dalhatu Tafida ­– commendations to the UK for stopping the policy.

Describing  how students were never the ‘real’ target of the scheme but could have nevertheless been affected had the policy been administered, Dominic Scott, Chief Executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) told The PIE News, “it is a mighty relief to hear that the idea has been abandoned.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: ”I am absolutely not interested in a bond which becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to this country, and in many respects bring great prosperity and benefits to this country, of course not.”

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