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Straw's racist visas

Issue No. 1712

Straw's racist visas

The government wants to charge people for appealing against Home Office refusal of a visa to visit Britain. The move comes after home secretary Jack Straw was recently forced to back down on slapping a 3,000 "bond" on people who want their relatives from abroad to visit here.

One of the government's pre-election pledges was to reinstate the right of appeal to people turned down for a visitor's visa, abolished by the Tories in 1993.

But the government wants to charge up to 580 in legal and administration charges.

This will have the effect of stopping poor people from applying for a visitor's visa at all. The National Association of Citizen's Advice Bureaux condemned the charge as a dishonest way to fulfil the pre-election promise.

If you come from the European Union you don't need a visa. Neither do you need one if you come from the US, Japan, Canada or Australia. But you have to have one if you come from countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana or Bangladesh.

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Sat 2 Sep 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1712
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