UK govt’s new visa crackdown will affect Indian IT professionals

Under the new visa rules, anyone applying under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement.

By: PTI | London | Updated: November 4, 2016 12:39 pm
theresa may, british pm, british prime minister, uk pm theresa may, theresa may british indians, diwali, theresa may diwali, theresa may british indians diwali, uk pm may, world news British Prime Minister Theresa May answers a question from the media during the final press briefing at the EU Summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

In a crackdown to curb its soaring immigration figures, the UK government has announced changes to its visa policy for non-EU nationals, which will affect a large number of Indians especially IT professionals. Under the new visa rules announced last evening by the UK Home Office, anyone applying after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds.

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The ICT route is largely used by Indian IT companies in Britain and the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had found earlier this year that Indian IT workers accounted for nearly 90 per cent of visas issued under this route.

The changes come just days before British Prime Minister Theresa May lands in India on Sunday for her three-day visit.

“The first of two phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee, will affect applications made on or after November 24 unless stated otherwise,” a UK Home Office statement said.

Besides the Tier 2 ICT salary threshold hike, the other changes announced include increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to 25,000 pounds, with some exemptions; reducing the Tier 2 (ICT) graduate trainee salary threshold to 23,000 pounds and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year; and closing the Tier 2 (ICT) skills transfer sub-category.

A number of changes have also been announced for the Tier 4 category, which covers maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Nationals outside the European Union, including Indians, will also be affected by new English language requirements when applying for settlement as a family member after two and a half years in the UK on a five-year route to residency settlement in the UK.

The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave to remain in the UK under the family immigration rules is due to expire on or after May 1, 2017.

The changes follow advice by the MAC earlier this year to curb the Tier 2 ICT route and reduce reliance on foreign workers.

“(Immigration) is not serving to increase the incentive to employers to train and upskill the UK workforce. Ready access to a pool of skilled IT professionals in India is an example of this,” the MAC report had said in its findings.

“We did not see any substantive evidence of long-standing reciprocal arrangements whereby UK staff are given the opportunity to gain skills, training and experience from working in India,” it noted.

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  1. Z
    Nov 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm
    Naieve to think that the nativesi n England think Hinglish is go enough, better promote own languages and ad Spanish, French and German into to frame. To talk of 400 years. .... Perhaps in tiny enclaves, the majority do not speak it, we have our own languages, Tamil has more claim as a national indigenous language, than any other.
    1. अण्णाजी
      Nov 4, 2016 at 7:50 am
      Not sure how does increase in the threshold would affect Indian IT;br/gt;Even if the threshold is increased it will still be lesser than haring a local candidate. Hiring an Indian IT professional doesnt involve less ry but there are other factors as well
      1. A
        Nov 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm
        I don't think;br/gt;Under able leadership of Modi Ji - India is already a;br/gt;Soon, reverse brain drain will;br/gt;Indian IT or any professional will get job in India and across;br/gt;This is what we voted Modi;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Modi has roamed world and he has told Indian diaspora - soon they would like to return India as he is working to make India best.
        1. K
          Nov 4, 2016 at 7:56 am
          The measures taken under the advice of the MAC will hurt Indian businesses in the U.K. who will be forced to employ native U.K. Labour for a much higher cost. From a simple profit perspective, labour cost arbitrage cannot be taken advantage of in the U.K. But will this alone stymie the downward pressure on labour cost for British companies is the question. To argue that no reciprocal arrangements exist where U.K. Nationals can gain skills and experience in India is preposterous - India is a developing country, and the U.K. simply offers much more sophisticated opportunities for career seekers. Plus, English is a native language of the U.K. not of India. In fairness, what must be clear to Indians is that a historic connection to the U.K. is no longer enough to grant them opportunities there. On a broad note, this should be a wake-up call to Indian policy makers who insist on English education and other aspects of British culture to the exclusion of other languages, both Indian and foreign. Even our economy has to orient, in foreign trade terms, to new partners both in our neighborhood and in the wider world. I spent 8 years in the U.K., working and studying, and this is bittersweet.
          1. I
            Nov 4, 2016 at 10:07 am
            That means it will not be possible to send junior resources. There is less demand for high level positions.
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