The much derided £3,000 visa bond scheme planned for visitors to the UK from certain commonwealth countries designated as ‘high risk’ countries has been scrapped by the UK government.
According to the BBC, an initial Sunday Times report that the policy would be scrapped was confirmed by a Home Office spokesman.
The visa bond scheme was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June and was set to be introduced this month.
It is believed that the decision to scrap it was taken after Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, threatened to block the scheme.
The scheme was targeted at first time visitors from Nigeria and some other countries including India and Pakistan to make them pay a £3,000 visa bond, which will be forfeited if the visitor overstayed on his visa.
This idea was initially proposed by Mr. Clegg in March but with a slight variation from the one announced by the government.
His own proposal was targeted at visitors from certain ‘high risk’ countries that have been refused UK visa in the past.
Business Secretary Vince Cable later claimed the deputy prime minister’s plan, which had suggested a bond of £1,000, had been deliberately misinterpreted by some of their Conservative cabinet colleagues.
“The Home Office version of the policy was not acceptable to the Liberal Democrats and was not support by other government departments,” Lib Dem sources said.
“They have seen the writing on the wall and binned it off.
“We have been clear from the start that the version was just not acceptable to us.”
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee, said: “During this shambolic process the Home Office has managed to upset a number of foreign governments and confuse millions of potential visitors.
“This is not the way to fashion a strong and effective immigration policy.”
Mr Cable also criticised the level at which the bond was set and said that it had caused “outrage” in India.