U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron might stop over in Delhi on way to the CHOGM and interact with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.
India is happy with the withdrawal of United Kingdom’s proposal to subject visitors from six “high-risk” Commonwealth countries to pay a surety of £3,000 for a visa.
New Delhi along with the other five countries — three from the subcontinent and two African — had been against the introduction of this scheme and its views were conveyed by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and during the India-U.K. Comprehensive Dialogue on visa related issues in London in July.
India is the biggest of the six countries whose citizens were to be subjected to the U.K. visa bond scheme and officials in New Delhi said it could be linked to Britain’s desire to push for easier investment norms for foreign investment in insurance and financial sectors. Prime Minister David Cameron might stop over in Delhi on way to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo and interact with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, they added.
While welcoming the abandoning of the proposed bond scheme, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin mentioned the need for maintaining an adequate level of people-to-people contacts to provide strength and durability to ties with the U.K.
The bonds scheme would have been applicable on visitors’ visas for people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ghana. They would have had to pay the deposit which would be forfeited if they did not return home. It was intended to deter people from overstaying the visa. The proposal aroused strong feeling among Indians living in Britain, right from the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Indian Workers Association.