UK tourist visa duration ‘to be halved’


Proposals to cut the time non-EU tourists can stay in the UK from six months to three are expected to be announced by ministers soon, according to the BBC.

The move is among measures aimed at further tightening the visa system.
A bond of at least £1,000 ($2,000) to be paid by families who want relatives to visit Britain will also be introduced.
Meanwhile, the home office has defended the payment of thousands of pounds to failed asylum seekers to persuade them to return to their home countries.
The new measures are said to be contained within a consultation document set to be unveiled by immigration minister Liam Byrne.
The BBC said the idea of a cash bond was not a new one but he understood ministers were convinced it was the way forward.
It would see people using ‘sponsored family visits’ to enable relatives from outside the European Union to visit on temporary visas would need to put up a cash bond.
The bond would then be forfeited if the relative did not leave when the visa expired.
The BBC also said the existing right of appeal to a full tribunal against a decision by immigration authorities not to grant a visa could be scrapped.
He said such appeals which currently cost between £30-40 million ($60-80 million) a year, could be replaced by a simpler and cheaper appeal process.
The government has already announced other changes to the visa system which Byrne described as the ‘biggest shake-up of the immigration system in history’.
They included a points based system for economic migrants and the tightening of procedures for people bringing spouses into the country.