The PM of India discusses new visa changes with David Cameron

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi raised the issue of new changes on Tier 2 visa, that apply from today, with David Cameron, saying that skilled professionals shouldn’t have difficulties in coming to work in the United Kingdom.  During a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington,Modi raised the issue of change in the UK visa law, which will impact professionals earning below £35,000 annually.

Thousands of Indian and other nationals from outside the European Union (EU) living and working in Britain on a Tier 2 visa may have to leave the country or be deported if they earn less than 35,000 pounds a year once the terms of the visa expire.
Earlier, a Tier-2 visa holder could apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK with an annual income of around 21,000 pounds. The new rule comes into effect today,April 6 and is likely to affect thousands of Indian skilled professionals.

According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, of the 55,589 Tier 2 sponsored visa applications cleared in 2014-2015, nearly 78 per cent were for Indians (31,058).

The exact figure of the non-EU nationals affected by the new salary threshold requirements remains uncertain but it is estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000 workers. Many teachers will also be hit by the new rule at a time when Britain is struggling with teaching staff shortages.

There are some exemptions under the changes, including those employed in a PhD-level occupation and workers who fall under the UK’s “shortage occupation lists” such as nurses, and certain categories of health professionals and IT specialists.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “In the past it has been too easy for some businesses to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long-term decision to train our workforce here at home.

We need to do more to change that, which means reducing the demand for migrant labour. These reforms will ensure that businesses are able to attract the skilled migrants they need, but we also want them to get far better at recruiting and training UK workers first.”

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