London: Foreigners visiting Britain from ‘high risk’ countries will have to deposit ‘security bonds’ costing thousands of pounds to deter them from overstaying in the country.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is set to announce plans to bring in the Australian-style deposits for visitors from certain countries, which will be repaid when they leave the UK.
According to the Independent, although a list of such nations has not yet been made by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), it is expected to include Pakistan, other countries in the Indian sub-continent and some in the Middle East.
The move could run into controversy if the list does not include ‘white Commonwealth’ nations.
Clegg, who chairs the Cabinet’s Home Affairs Committee, has asked the Home Office to run a trial ‘security bonds’ scheme by the end of this year.
The bonds would cost at least 1,000 pounds, rising to as much as several thousand pounds for visitors from the countries deemed to pose the highest risk, the report said.
According to the report, describing the bonds as a ‘powerful new tool’, an advance copy of his speech said that Clegg will say that ‘the challenge is not just stopping people coming into Britain illegally, it’s about dealing with individuals who come over legitimately but then become illegal once they’re already here’.
The Liberal Democrat leader will accept that visiting Britain to celebrate a family birth, a relative’s graduation, or a wedding, should not become entirely dependent on the ability to pay a bond.
He has also asked Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to double the maximum fine for unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants as cheap labour. He wants it to rise to 20,000 pounds per illegal worker, the report added.