JO - Britain launches consultation on new immigration proposals
Britain launches consultation on new immigration proposals
Thursday, December 20, 2007
THE British Home Office is now seeking views on new proposals it outlined on Tuesday to significantly overhaul its visa-granting programme to non-European nationals, including Jamaicans.
Among the proposed changes are:
. reduction in the length of time a tourist can stay in the UK from six to three months;
. people putting up a financial deposit to ensure that family members visiting the UK return upon the expiration of their visas;
. creating a specific business and specialist visa; and
. creating a specific visa for one-off events such as the Olympics.
Britain's Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said the aim was to make the system more secure and for the UK to remain a choice tourist destination.
"Tougher checks abroad mean we keep risky people out. By next Spring we'll check everyone's fingerprints when they apply for a visa; now we're proposing a financial guarantee as well - not for everyone, but where we think there's a risk."
The financial deposit being proposed is at least £1,000 (more than J$140,000).
The JIS in London reports that last month an immigration seminar was told that only 51 per cent of all Jamaican visa applicants were successful in their bid to enter the UK during 2005 and 2006. Improperly prepared applications and poor documentation have been cited as the two main reasons for the low success rate of Jamaican applicants for British visas.
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