UK Visa barriers: India should hit back soon

For those Indians who wish to travel abroad, the hurdles are already far from easy to surmount – but they are about to become even more difficult. The United Kingdom’s home office has confirmed that it will go ahead with what it says is a “pilot scheme” for requiring a £3,000 (Rs 2.8 lakh) refundable cash bond from those visitors that it determines to be “high risk”. Indian visitors will not be exempt from this scrutiny. 

This is in spite of the fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron, on his visit to India earlier this year, had effusively invoked a “special relationship” and “strategic partnership”. It appears that wooing his Conservative Party’s domestic base is more important than his basic foreign policy agenda: the UK’s press release reveals the rationale for this regressive measure is that it would be a “step in making… [the] immigration system more selective, bringing down net immigration”. In other words, Indian visitors will be deemed to be guilty of harbouring a desire to settle in Britain until proven innocent, with the burden of proof being entirely on the visitor. 

Full report here Business Standard


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