09 October 2012

Indian business bemoans UK visa changes

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Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has raised concerns that recent changes to UK visa policy affecting Indian nationals threatens to damage Indian companies' profits and reputations.

UK visa

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma says UK visa changes risk damaging Indian businesses.

The Government has made sweeping changes to UK visa and immigration policy in recent months including introducing salary thresholds, applications caps and the removal of certain privileges, particularly that of international students' right to work in the UK after graduating.

The changes are part of the coalition Government's efforts to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands by the time of the next general election; current levels stand at approximately 250,000.

However, in a meeting between Mr Sharma and the Lord Mayor of London David Wootton in New Delhi, Mr Sharma said the UK's measures are damaging to Indian firms.

"The new measures that the UK Government has proposed for are likely to affect the profitability and competitiveness of Indian companies," read a statement from the minister following the meeting.

"While we appreciate that the UK may have reasons for introducing a cap on non-EU economic immigrants, our concern is to ensure that these measures do not adversely affect the growing trade and economic partnership between our two countries."

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