Today British High Commissioner Robert W Gibson underlined that Britain is open for business when speaking about the proposed pilot of a visa bond scheme for visitors assessed to pose a high risk of overstaying.
He said, “As the British Prime Minister has made loud and clear, we want the brightest and the best to help create the jobs and growth that will enable Britain to compete in the global race. So, for example, if you are an overseas businessmen seeking to invest and trade with world class businesses, one of the thousands of legitimate students keen to study at our first-class universities or a tourist visiting our world class attractions, be in no doubt: Britain is open for business.”
The UK government remains committed to tackling immigration abuse and is looking at a range of options. One of those options is a financial bond. The government intends to run a pilot scheme for such bonds, tightly targeted at a small number of visa applicants assessed to pose a high risk of overstaying. But no decisions have been taken on the detail of how such a pilot scheme would work in practice. Any such scheme will be designed in a way that does not cut across the UK’s wish to be open for business, students and tourists.
The UK has recently made a number of improvements to its visa services to support genuine visitors from Bangladesh. These include the opening of a premium lounge in Dhaka, optional Fast Track service for visitor visas, a Business Express Programme for selected companies, a prime time opening service and online applications.
Migration is an important part of the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and the UK. We are reducing net migration but people to people contacts are important and we welcome genuine visitors and students to the UK.
In 2012 the UK government introduced changes to migration routes, following extensive global consultation exercises. Changes to the work routes will help ensure that the UK remains a top destination for inward investors and entrepreneurs, whilst reducing migration to more sustainable levels.