Visa Policy Review by the UK Government in view.

THE British visa bond policy may be reviewed after all, going by hints from top diplomatic sources.
Indeed, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, disclosed that his home country’s government is currently working on the review process.
Pocock stated this on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange to discuss ways to encourage British companies invest in the capital market.
Reports had indicated early this year that the British government was planning to implement a new scheme under which some visitors from six commonwealth countries, including Nigeria, would be asked to pay a £3,000 cash bond, in return for visiting visas that allowed them to stay in the UK for up to six months.
“In the long run, we are interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” an unnamed Home Office official had been quoted as saying in June.
The development had resulted in an outcry by nationals of the affected countries, with the Nigerian government calling on its British counterpart to renounce the policy.
Speaking with journalists after ringing the closing bell at the NSE, the British High Commissioner said; “We have made it very clear to our government in London that there is concern about this. So, this is being reviewed and considered in London as we speak now.”
The British High Commissioner, who said visas were issued to 125,000 Nigerians every year, added; “If we decide that this will become a policy we will tell, firstly then Nigerian government and secondly, the Nigerian people so everyone has all the information they need. This is not a major threat to Nigerians coming to the UK; that I can guarantee.”
He also explained that “the visa bond, as it is being called here, is not a £3,000 charge for a British Visa. That is not the case, it is not going to happen now and it is not going to happen in the future. Visa fee, which is what you pay for a visa, will not go to £3,000 or anywhere near it.”
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema, said in the course of the visit, officials of the NSE and Pocock had held discussions on how more British companies can be brought into the country to interact with Nigerian companies and also use the Exchange as a good intermediary to attract foreign portfolio investment and foreign direct investment into the country and to the United Kingdom as well.
On how the UK planned to help grow the Nigerian capital market, Pocock said; “We have a great deal of expertise to offer on financial, legal, health, public-private partnerships, service industry and service areas of that kind. And part of my job here is to invite British companies of all sizes to come down again, have another look at the Nigerian market and make up their mind whether they can trade or invest here on the basis of what they see, not just what the read in the newspapers or hear on the media.”