Last week it was reported that the Home Office was going to go ahead with a plan later this year to force some visitors from India, Nigeria, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh to pay a £3,000 bond for a visitor visa allowing them to stay in the UK for up to six months.
As this triggered protests abroad, sources close to Nick Clegg said that the £3,000 figure had not actually been agreed. Late on Monday afternoon the Home Office also issued a statement playing down reports that the policy had been finalised.
A spokesman said: "In the long run we're interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services.
"We're planning a pilot that focuses on overstayers and examines a couple of different ways of applying bonds. The pilot will apply to visitor visas, but if the scheme is successful we'd like to be able to apply it on an intelligence-led basis on any visa route and any country." ...Read more