India happy at UK’s move to take visa bond scheme on board

Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013

India happy at UK’s move to take visa bondIndia says it is happy that the UK has taken on board its concerns over the controversial 3,000-pound visa bond scheme, saying people-to-people contacts provide strength and durability to long standing warm bilateral ties.

India’s response came after the UK officially announced its decision to scrap the visa bond scheme for some “high risk” overseas visitors to the UK including from India, which was scheduled to be implemented on a pilot scale this month.

Press Trust of India (PTI) said the move comes ahead of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s third visit in two years to India on Nov 14.

After media reports emerged of the proposed visa bond scheme earlier this year, the Indian government had promptly responded by raising the matter with the UK government.

“Our views on the subject were conveyed to the UK government at different levels, including by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma during his visit to London in June,” said a spokesperson from the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Our concerns were once again discussed during the India-UK Comprehensive Dialogue on Visa Related Issues held in July in London.”

Cameron will have a one-day meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on key bilateral and regional issues before leaving for Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Nov 15 to 16.

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