India waiting to hear from UK views on bond for visa

Published: 29th June 2013 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2013 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

India will be waiting to hear the views of the United Kingdom on the proposal for financial bonds of 3,000 pounds for Indian visa applicants, mooted in a bid to curb illegal immigration.

“This is a work in progress. They are still mulling over it. We should wait until we hear from them their view. They are well aware of our concerns,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here on Friday.

He reiterated that the proposal would be discussed during the Indo-UK consular dialogue which will take place in July-end. “They have told us that this matter will form the basis of discussion this time.”

The UK home office had confirmed that it was planning to implement a pilot project from November, which would mean that selective ‘high risk’ visa applicants from six countries, including India, would have to pay a bond of 3,000 pounds.

The Indian business chambers had railed against the proposal, terming it “discriminatory and unfortunate” and asserting that it would negatively impact the special relationship between India and the UK.

During his official visit in London this week, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had taken up the matter during his meetings with Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, Minister for Government policy in Cabinet office, Oliver Letwin and Minister in charge for business engagement with India, Gregory Barker.

British High Commission spokesperson Marcus Winsley had said on Tuesday that “no decision had been taken on the detail of how such a pilot scheme would work in practice.”

He asserted that “any such scheme will be designed in a way that does not cut across the UK’s wish to be open for business, students and tourists.”

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