Priti Patel will reportedly create a so-called “league table” of nations based on their level of co-operation in accepting criminals and failed asylum seekers from the UK.
The table will be used to pressure countries to agree to individual return deals, according to the Times, with those who refuse to take back their own foreign criminals and illegal immigrants to face sanctions.
The paper added that powers available via the Nationality and Borders Act (NABA) which came into force last Tuesday will allow the Home Secretary to suspend visa applications for citizens from those countries, impose a £190 surcharge on their applications or increase visa processing times.
The table will show those countries – such as Albania, Nigeria and Poland – which are more willing to accept back criminals and failed asylum seekers in the hope that doing so encourages other countries to follow suit.
The Times said the visa penalties will apply to all aspects of the visa service including study, work, visitor and settlement visas.
It comes after the Government in April signed a £120 million economic and migration deal to send failed asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Rwanda’s human rights record is high among the concerns about the arrangement, with no one-way flights for migrants having taken off yet due to legal challenges.
Ms Patel announced the deal in a bid to deter people from crossing the Channel to the UK in small boats, but more than 3,000 migrants crossed in June – the highest monthly total this year.
Some 3,136 made the crossing on 76 boats in the 30-day period, with journeys taking place on 19 of those days, according to PA news agency analysis of government figures.
So far this year, around 12,700 people have made the crossing after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies.
The National Crime Agency has vowed to continue trying to tackle people smuggling after a series of arrests were made over the deaths of 27 people trying to cross the Channel last year.
The NABA’s measures, which received royal assent in April, include tougher penalties for those who pilot a small boat or smuggle migrants into the UK by other dangerous or illegal means, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for illegally entering the UK or overstaying a visa has increased from six months to four years in prison, with other measures in place over asylum applications and new powers for authorities to search vessels for migrants.
This new immigration policy idea was met with fury: