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Oluwaseun Babajide: Has the UK Goofed with the £3,000 Visa Bond Policy?

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What do Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have in common? The answer is simple: English-colonized, large Muslim population, poverty-infested, backward, and underdeveloped; and now, the latest entrant to the similarities – £3,000 UK Visa Bond. The latest immigration policy of the UK particularly for these five countries have been met with a very angry reception, if not in other countries, Nigeria and India, at least. The highest echelons of the governments there are not taking this issue lightly, and so are the citizens.

After 300 years of slavery (for Nigeria), 150 years of colonialism, and over 50 years of post-colonial, and imperialist rule, the UK seemed tired of nationals from these countries. After centuries of exhausting the sweat, blood, and labour of these people and their forbearers to build the Queen’s land, the UK policy molders seem to be saying, “thank you for helping develop our country, we need you no more.” This is the most unfair immigration policy to be conceived in recent times.

Come to think of it, is that the only reason the UK is blocking it’s hitherto “friendly commonwealth citizens” from visiting the Queen’s land? I don’t think so. Let’s take a look at the following three reasons and see if they are connected.

Politics & the Next UK Parliamentary Elections
David Cameron and his Conservative Party seem to be playing to the gallery with this new immigration policy. For those who have followed recent elections in the Eurozone, it would not be news that the party with a strong anti-immigration policy appeals more to the electorates; especially in the face of the economic recessions crushing almost all of Europe. In other words, selling this idea to the electorates might just secure the seats for the Conservatives, come next polls.

Tougher immigration rules ensures a more stable social welfare and cultural regime for native Europeans; this is one of the strongest points during election debates in recent times. Therefore, a government in power would do all it can to appease the minds of its citizens with a very unfriendly immigration policy that would keep the ‘aliens’ away – it’s all about the ‘ballots in the box.’

Internal Security & Anti-Terrorism
No doubt, one of the biggest concerns of the ‘super-powers’ today is security of its citizens both home and abroad – but especially at home. Following the successful September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers in New York and the July 7, 2005 terrorist attack in London, the UK Home Department has consistently taken very strong measures to curb this menace.

By way of doing so, racial and religious profiling is used as a tool – albeit, morally wrong. Consequently, the five countries listed as pilot projects for the £3,000 UK Visa Bond policy have been profiled wholesale. Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have combined, hundreds of millions of Muslims in their region who have (and very unfortunately so), been profiled as potential terrorists. This is one of the most racially and religiously biased views mankind has ever witnessed.

So, to curb the inflow of suicide bombers and other such threats to national security, the bar is raised a notch further; no £3,000 deposit, no entry; no entry, no terrorism. Clever, hmm? Or why do you think Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and South Africa, etc. – all former colonies of the Queen, and very frequent UK visitors and residents are exempted from this immigration regime?

Financial & Economic Benefits
Perhaps the most profitable of all the reasons this policy was introduced is the attendant financial gain the UK is expected to get. Other than the very exorbitant visa application fees imposed on citizens of these countries (one of the highest in the world), the interest-free £3,000 UK Visa Bond is a surefire way of further shoring up the purse – especially for the High Commissions in those countries.

This might sound rather smart for UK citizens who are at a loss as to how the Conservative government aims to raise revenue and sustain its dozens of embassies and High Commissions all over the world even in this hard times. On the other hand, it is not only wicked, it is perfidious that a country that has benefited – and is still benefiting – so much from the many centuries of free labour of peoples from these lands would request an apparent six months interest-free loan to the tune of hundreds of millions of Pounds from beleaguered and poverty ridden Third World citizens.

Where the hell has morality gone, where is our conscience, have we finally thrown out ethos and values out of the window? These questions I expect the House of Lords and House of Commons to ask themselves.

If as many as 180,000 Nigerians apply for UK visa in a year, and a sizeable number (just about same) applies also in these other four countries, soon, the UK would seal this policy in concrete or even increase the fee – I won’t underestimate the length a Conservative government would go to raise funds, history tells us so.

Paradoxically, the UK government is built and runs on immigrants; the number of Nigerian and Indian students in the UK education system alone accounts for a huge chunk of the total immigrants studying in the UK; furthermore, the number of Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, and Pakistanis in the informal sectors are indicators of a mutually beneficial relationship hitherto enjoyed up till now. Why is the Home Department and the entire Conservative party making it look like a parasitic relationship where one is fleecing on the other? The UK gains as much from these visitors as they do from the Queens land, if not even more.

I think the quicker this £3,000 UK Visa Bond policy is reversed, the better for everyone. Otherwise, the UK should just brace up for lesser patronage for their airlines and High Commissions, and more illegal immigrants, increased shady deals to smuggle people into the country, and many other such vices. A word is enough for the wise; think twice my dear Queen!

Photo Credit: touchfm.org
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Oluwaseun Babajide is the founder and CEO of Sbabzy.com, a source of unique breaking news, blogging, personal and professional tips, apart from featured Interviews with top bloggers. He loves working on the internet, golfing, researching, writing articles, and meeting new people. You can send him an email [email protected], follow him on Twitter @sbabzycom or like him on Facebook.

Oluwaseun Babajide is the CEO and Founder of Sbabzy.com, a source of unique Blogging, Personal and Professional Tips, apart from featured Interviews with Top Bloggers. He loves working on the internet, golfing, researching, writing articles, and meeting new people. You can follow him on Twitter or Like him on Facebook. His email address is [email protected]

38 Comments

  1. babyboo

    September 2, 2013 at 9:14 am

    stories thAt touch! the 3,000 pounds bond DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE. it only applies to first-time visa applicants/goers. i really dont c it as a big deal. besides, u get ur money back eventually. in the end, it affects only a few and the people to pay the bond are chosen at the govts discretion. ‘high risk’people.

    • MissM

      September 2, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Well said babyboo.

      It’s their country, their policy, their culture, etc. If we don’t like it, we can travel somewhere else. Besides, the money would be refunded upon a visitor’s exit.

      Whether or not they use the funds to improve their economy pending a visitor’s exit, it is a good thing- recycling funds and improving their economy with your cash; tourists cant just enjoy the benefits of a civilised economy. They should be useful to the economy as well.

      Finally, why the banter? China suspended giving tourist visas to Nigerians some time ago because a high number of Nigerians refused to go back home and illegally extended their stay. More som North Korea has stricter immigration policies but who “born” you to complain?

    • Omavuaye Mudiaga-Erhueh

      September 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      … more so*…

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      September 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      My dear na true u talk o. If the policy pain u go another place or siddon for house. ah ah

  2. Funmi

    September 2, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Cute guy. Yep that’s all I took from the article.

    • Bleed blue

      September 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

      LOL in all kinds of ways! Funmi I agree, only the cute guy did it for me. All these arguments are overflogged and unfounded jare.

      The bitter truth is illegal immigrants use public funds for things like health services and free education for their kids while here. If it had been in Nigeria that foreigners could come in and swoop on the benefits the country gives us, we too would expect our government to sit up and do something to obtain the funds back in some way. Abi?

    • OK

      September 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Or round them up and deport them…Ghana I see you!

    • Teris

      September 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      LOL!!!

  3. anonymous babe

    September 2, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Well,its their choice.We should stop with this Slavery argument.We have been independent since 1960 yet have very little to show for it.Let us build our country and educational system.The fact is that we don’t need the UK to survive,we already have all we need,more than what they had to start with.

  4. Mimi

    September 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Kenya’s IS also included with the scheme starting in November 2013.

  5. Dolapo

    September 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

    This article doesn’t seat well with me. Your points are neither strong nor weak.

  6. be

    September 2, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Where exactly did the 300 years of salvery come from ……….. Rubbish fact . Also the 3,000 bond affects a limited amount of people, also what does it matter if the money goes back to you when you return .

  7. Tinuade

    September 2, 2013 at 9:53 am

    this article is peppered with inaccuracies and emotive language. For one, Sri Lanka does not have a large muslim population.

    Seun, if Nigerian Citizens knew how to behave themselves abroad, these types of things wouldn’t be happening. Plain and simple. All that stuff about slavery, colonialism, post colonialism etc is for the birds

    • Dammy

      September 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      Your comment… How sad! Your generalizations, even more pathetic. So Nigerian citizens do not know how to behave themselves abroad? Why do Nigerians find it so easy to berate their fellow citizens? Whether you admit it or not, many people still have that colonial mentality and some form of inferiority complex, that’s the only reason you’ll think people ‘abroad’ behave themselves and Nigerians cannot seem to adapt to this civilised behaviour. Alas, ain’t we our own enemies? *Enough said*

  8. NaijaBiz

    September 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

    [email protected]
    I think the bond thing is silly.it WILL NOT stoped Nigerians..they will just add it as part of expenses.
    http://naija-biz.blogspot.com/

  9. NaijaBiz

    September 2, 2013 at 11:03 am

    stop*

  10. angry immigrant

    September 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

    UKBA’s visa fees is the highest in the world.

    i paid £1,050 to renew my visa….. took them 7 months to process it… and guess what? i got a refusal over something really silly.i was given the option of reapplying (another £1,050 or leaving the country).

    i know many people that paid the same fee and are still waiting for a decision 9months on and counting.

    bunch of money grabbing dolts they are. i wish someone could force them to disclose how much they rake into the ”treasury” from visa fees and also disclose what these funds are used for.

    • be

      September 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Agry Immigrant , if you dont like it , PACK YOUR LOAD AND GO BACK HOMe………. End of story . UK Visa fees is a rip off but it is not by force to stay there

    • Angry immigrant

      September 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      I’m sorry to disappoint you but I ain’t going nowhere!!

      I earn £450 per day as a contractor, so go figure.

      They can £5,000 as fees for all I care but that is no reason to hold on to people’s passports and documents for 7 months plus!!!!

    • Yetunde

      September 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      lol I just love your reply! ‘im sorry to disappoint you but i aint going nowhere!!!’.
      The UK visa fees is just ridiculous. bloody ripoff.

  11. Nunu milk

    September 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Stay in ur country! Develop ur country! Den u will know if they’ll be begging you to come visit or slapping bonds on u. Its their country, not urs. They’ll run it the way they deem fit

    • Ojie

      September 2, 2013 at 11:46 am

      I concur.

    • nene

      September 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      das all!!!

  12. niyoola

    September 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

    The article is sort of immature.

    Although the UK bond doesn’t apply to everyone, when faced with amount of illegal immigrants in their country, then they really cannot be blamed. Illegal immigrants are drawing down from their welfare resources/facilities etc.
    The argument of these illegal immigrants paying tax for working illegal jobs with falsified documents doesn’t hold water.
    Instead of Nigerian govt crying foul about this, they should find ways to prevent Nigerians from wanting to go abroad by fire by force. You see people with Masters degrees working in supermarkets stacking shelves. If people were not abusing the system, there would be no need for this.
    Why go to the UK anyway. There are better schools in other countries, more relaxing destinations for holidays. If they don’t want you there, then go holiday/study somewhere else. Travelling abroad doesn’t have to be going to ‘London’ alone.
    The fact that the British colonized us isn’t the issue; they left ages ago. Blame your leaders for the rot that makes living here inhabitable; Don’t blame the British for not welcoming you with open arms.

    • Dammy

      September 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      My thoughts exactly. However, I don’t think the article is immature. The writer actually made some valid points. The relationship between the UK on the one hand and India and Nigeria on the other is mutually parasitic. They cannot deny the amount of money they make from international students from theses countries and every year, some of the schools keep increasing their fees. So they shouldn’t act like they are not getting their own returns. But as you said, no be by force to come UK, better school for Ivy league sef dey other countries and there are other more relaxing countries to spend the holiday. So they can hold their Visa innit?

  13. Princess

    September 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Well if i were d president of a country, i wud certainly do the same if it wud better my economy and benefit its citizens. You shud be writting to ur own President who hasnt said anything about it and dont care much for its citizens or hw they re treated in other countries. Too bad we re paying the price of bad leaderships and until a revolution takes place in Nigeria, everybody shud try make something for themselves and leave David Cameron alone! He is taking care of and for his citizens. Go and blame ur own President abeg!!

  14. SS

    September 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I really do not blame UK goverment……….that is what they feel could curb illegal immigrants and wisely generated funds from them

  15. Princess

    September 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Can i also add that playing the mental slavery card is just old old old skool…!

  16. Thatgidigirl

    September 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    If you need a loan to pay the £3000 bond, please hit me on 0803………. Interest rates apply. Tans n God bless.

  17. Socrates

    September 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Ha, NIGERIANS……..wetin dey do una?? where is your national pride? where is the spirit of reciprocity?? So, you all will just agree to an undeserved TAX like that? because that is what this is, even if it is temporary. If you were asked to deposit your first born also to get visa, would you also say, “It is their country”? even failed states should have some self regard, not accept rocks to chew on, and even support the spooning of such rocks into your mouth.. By the way,has ANY REASON been given for this bond yet???? Oma ga ooo.

  18. dma

    September 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Do Nigerians really have to travel to the UK? Seriously this whole UK thing it’s now like a status symbol it’s not like when you visit the UK and go back to Nigeria you will automatically become a billionaire and your life will never be the same….bottom line it’s about time we and I mean we Nigerians fix our country put things right then people from all over the world will make Nigeria the country of choice and place to see at all cost that way we can charge $1 million dollars as visa fee for to come see naija 8th wonder until then nothing will change there is no point getting mad at the British government! A visit to UK no be by force!!!!!!!

  19. just thinking

    September 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    My simple analogy – If you are a landlord and in the past people keep renting your property and owe on rent, at the end they leave your house in a horrible mess. If you decide to demand 200k refundable deposit for anyone who intends to rent that is not a crime or human rights infringment. Therefore, if you dont like the landlord’s demand you go somewhere else. You wont take him to court because of that. So, Mr Seun and socrates pls come up with a better argument. No be by force!!!

    • Princess

      September 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Gbam…! U said it all. I mean i leave here in d Uk and i hv to say, nigerians here can so like to embarrass themselves. I dnt care abt other nationalities, i am speaking of mine. I am always ashamed to watch the news and hear of an incident involving a Nigerian atleast once every single week.. Tufiakwa

  20. IniOnline

    September 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    This is a very simple matter if you dont like it please stay in your country…..
    inionlinenews.blogspot.co.uk

  21. NNENNE

    September 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I do not blame Britain for doing whatever it takes to protect their citizens. Terrorism does no nod good. Perhaps this will encourage us to develop our countries instead of stealing our resources and sending them overseas to build another man’s country.

  22. adelegirl

    September 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The UK will not admit that the real problem they have with immigrants bleeding the social/public welfare system dry really is the immigrants from EU countries. Unfortunately, without a referendum which their citizens have been calling for, to decide whether or not to pull out of the UK, it can’t do much. Also, the UK economy gains from these immigrants – EU or otherwise. Since they are bound by the EU treaty, they can’t really do much about the EU immigrants, so the next best thing to do is to pick on the non-EU immigrants. This affords them the opportunity to kill a few birds with one stone – curtail the number of immigrants coming in and overstaying; ready interest fee cash (the 3,000GBP bond) which can be ploughed into the UK economy pending return and the image portrayed to the UK citizens whereby the government is seen as actively working to curtail the longstanding problem of influx of illegal immigrants bleeding the system. However, knowing the average Nigerian and the hustle for visas of western countries, I doubt that this will stop people from applying – it only increases the application cost for the affected people and that’s it really.

  23. Samir

    September 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Really guys? How can illegal immigration be stopped or even reduced by this policy?
    Only legal immigrants even get a Visa. Illegal ones probably won’t even apply for a Visa, let alone pay 3000 pounds!

  24. 9ija

    September 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    This is simply the case of a broke country trying to make some dough. I have lived long enough in the UK to know it all boils down to money gaskia!

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