Visitors from Nigeria and other “high risk” countries in Asia and Africa will be forced to pay a £3,000 cash bond before they can enter United Kingdom.
From November, a pilot scheme will target visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana who will have to pay the UK government a form of cash guarantee or deposit to deter immigration abuse. They will forfeit the £3,000 if they overstay in Britain and fail to return to their home countries by the time their visa has expired.
The controversial move by the UK home secretary, Theresa May, to introduce the Australian-style system reflects her determination to show that the Conservatives are serious about cutting immigration in the UK.
Ms 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.”
She added: “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.”
The Home Office is targeting countries which have high volumes of visitor visa applications and what it deems to be relatively high levels of fraud and abuse.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and South Africa on Tuesday signed an agreement aimed at ending visa acquisition by holders of official and diplomatic passports.
Both Presidents, Jacob Zuma and Goodluck Jonathan met in Cape Town, South Africa where various issues were discussed on how to improve on relationship between both countries as they agreed on so many issues aimed at boosting development in the continent.
When I first saw learnt about the SA visa waiver, it looked like a welcome development until I learnt that it was for official passport holders(blue passport) and diplomatic passport holders only.
No doubt, Nigerians have a tendency to abuse visa flexibility, however the proposed UK immigration reform about to take effect is very unwelcome. There are other ways in my view to ensure selective immigration. Its bad enough that Nigerians pay exorbitantly sums for visa fees already.
The government keeps allowing its citizens to be treated like trash by countries who have so much to gain from Nigeria.