"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Saturday 9 March 2013

You've got to be kidding me

Immigrants would have to put up a cash bond to enter Britain under radical reforms to be introduced by the government.


Similarly, they will be required to pay the ‘entry fee’ as part of a guarantee that they will not be a burden on taxpayers and will leave when their visa expires. The cash will be repaid when visitors leave, but only if they demonstrate that they have not drawn on services, such as non-urgent NHS care or other elements of the welfare state. 

Now, Indian immigrants will have to pay a guarantee fee to enter UK : http://m.indianexpress.com/news/now-indian-immigrants-will-have-to-pay-guarantee-fee-to-enter-britain/1085129/

I avoided writing about this before because it demonstrates such a stunning level of chutzpah and moral blindness on top of everything else ( http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/nando-sigona/uk-migration-policy-we-need-to-talk-about-citizens ), I was simply lost for words.

This is an especially worrying development given the inadequacies which already exist within the system : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/bureaucracy

... and given the already excessive, draconian entry requirements which prevent around 50% (at least) of British citizens from bringing a non-British partner into the UK : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/introduction.html

Given the dysfunctional state of the UKBA already (http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/bureaucracy ) , what are the chances that this 'refundable' bond would in fact be refunded? With interest, I hope!

Read the links above at length and weep.

On immigration, Labour must tackle the roots of fear : http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/maryriddell/100205818/on-immigration-labour-must-tackle-the-roots-of-fear/

May boosts Tory leadership chances with approach to right : http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/07/theresa-may-immigration-cash-bond

Home secretary suggests immigrants may be forced to pay cash bond that would be refunded if they do not claim benefits.

Leadership rumours mount : http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/444229/20130309/thersa-tory-leadership-speech-three-pillars-conservatism.htm

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_MayTheresa May is an Anglican and attends church every Sunday. Given the plight of divided families ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/stories ) , and other issues ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-trials-of-roseline-akhalu-httpwww.html ) - as well as the suspicion that she is exploiting human suffering for the sake of her own political ambitions - one wonders about the health of her conscience.


  1. I was wondering when you were going to write about the bond proposal. It's insane, isn't it? Surely May isn't proposing that, in addition to having to go through the complicated, time-consuming and expensive procedure already in existence, relatives wanting to come to Britain for two weeks to see their family should have to stump up 1,000 pounds or more as a deposit? How on earth would this work? When would they get the money back? And how? How big a problem is this anyway? Is a bond really the right way to deal with it? Has the government never heard of health insurance?

  2. Al - I quite agree! Both malicious and unmanageable, as usual. I don't really do policy, but having the NHS 'sell' health insurance for visitors may be a better way to go.

    Thanks for the response!

  3. Any type of health insurance would do, surely -why not have the same condition as there is for getting a Schengen visa?

    In fact, the UKBA guidelines (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/while-in-uk/rightsandresponsibilities/healthcare/) already say:

    "A few categories of visitor can receive treatment for conditions that occurred after their arrival in the UK. This includes residents of the European Economic Area, or of countries with which the UK has bilateral healthcare agreements. See our Rights and responsibilities page for European nationals. The Department of Health guidance also contains more details.

    If you are not in one of the categories that can receive free treatment, you may be asked to pay for any hospital treatment you receive. You may therefore wish to ensure that you have health insurance to cover your stay in the UK."

    (By the way, the UK has reciprocal health agreements with various non-EEA countries (http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/countryguide/NonEEAcountries/Pages/Non-EEAcountries.aspx), so presumably their national would have to be exempt from such a bond.)

    All in all, I don't really understand the government's position here. IF they're talking about long-term family visit visas, that would make a little more sense (and if they're planning to replace the current draconian rules on elderly relatives with a bond scheme that would actually be a major improvement), but the way things have been going one can be forgiven for fearing the worst. On the other hand, it might not happen at all.