After the Brexit, the UK is constantly working on the foreign policies including the visa allotment to non-EU nations. In the view of the above, the UK government has changed its visa policy with effect from 24th November 2016 which will be most likely to affect a large number of Indians, especially IT professionals. According to reports, under the new rules, an application made for a visa under the Tire 2 ICT category on or after 24th November will be considered only if matches higher salary requirement.
According to the PTI news, United Kingdom government is trying to fasten the norms of entering in UK for the non-EU nationals including Indians. The reason behind the new development is said to be made for curbing the soaring immigration figures. Many Indians are migrating to the UK for the better prospects. After the Brexit, the UK has become independent to devise their own policies.
The new policy will affect most of the Indians from IT filed, claims the sources. According to the sources, under the new policy announced by the UK Home office earlier this month, applications made on or after the 24th November 2016 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet the higher salary threshold of 30,000 pounds (USD 37,131) from the existing 20,800 pounds (USD 25,723).
The sources in the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) claims that the ICT route has been largely used by Indian IT companies in Britain. The MAC has also found out that, earlier this year the Indian Indian workers accepted for nearly 90 percent of visas issued under this route. “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 24 November unless stated otherwise,” a UK Home Office statement said.
The new policy will not just affect the new applicants alone but the family members of the applicant applying for the visa will also have to face the stiffer norms hereon. According to the reports, the non-EU nationals including the Indians will have to go through the new screening of English language requirements when applying for settlement as family members after two and 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 other changes includes, increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to 25,000 pounds (USD 30,930), with some exemptions; reducing the Tier 2 (ICT) graduate trainee salary threshold to 23,000 pounds (USD 28,467) and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year; and closing the Tier 2 (ICT) skills transfer sub- category. The changes follow the advice by the MAC to curb the Tier 2 ICT route and reduce reliance on foreign workers.
The MAC reports says, “(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.” “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 said.
According to the reports, the issue of visas had overshadowed British Prime Minister Theresa May’s three-day visit to India+ earlier this month. “The UK will consider further improvements to our visa offer+ if, at the same time, we can step-up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain,” May had said in her speech at the UK-India Tech Summit in New Delhi.