She said The Gambia could be the first nation to be affected, having accepted only four criminal returnees in the past 12 months…reports Asian Lite News.
UK’s interior minister has threatened to penalise countries that refuse to readmit criminals and failed asylum seekers who are repatriated from Britain.
Priti Patel said that under proposed changes to the Nationality and Borders Bill, which may be passed this year, people applying from such countries could be forced to wait longer to have visa applications processed.
This will include the ability to suspend visas, impose a £190 ($257) surcharge on applications to visit Britain or to lengthen the time it takes for visas to be processed.
She said The Gambia could be the first nation to be affected, having accepted only four criminal returnees in the past 12 months.
Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Cambodia and Vietnam will also face sanctions in response to their records on accepting deportees.
The hardline home secretary has been angered by foreign prisoners remaining inside British jails at significant cost to the taxpayer.
“Countries around the globe must work with us to take back their own nationals if they abuse our hospitality by committing crimes,” she told The Sun newspaper on Sunday.
“However, some countries do not co-operate on returns and so we will impose visa penalties on countries who refuse to take criminals back.
“We rightly take back British citizens who commit crimes abroad and other countries do the same.”
Official figures show the UK has 10,882 foreign offenders who have been released from jail but not returned to their home countries. Ten years ago, the figure was 4,000.
More than 6,000 failed asylum-seekers receive state welfare payments but the Home Office has struggled to deport them owing to reluctance by their home nations to readmit them.