Visa fee in Britian seen as discriminatory
Dec 19,2007 00:00 by UPI
LONDON -- A motion in the British parliament to force families to pay $2,000 bonds to sponsor foreign relatives into England faces criticism for alleged discrimination.

The move, which also shortens the length of tourist visas, is intended to deter foreign visitors from remaining in the country after their visas expire. However, Labor members of Parliament and immigration groups said the fee is excessive and discriminatory, the Independent reported Wednesday.

Labor MPs said the bond imposed undue penalties on families hoping to gather for weddings and other ceremonies and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said the measure unduly targeted ethnic minorities.

Habib Rahmand, chief executive of the joint council, said the measure creates hardships on families and limits sponsorship to the wealthy few.

Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said the bond measure targets those at risk of violating the terms of their visa.

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