09 November 2010

EU leak reveals UK to take major share of Indian IT workers under work permit agreement

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Independent think tank Migrationwatch UK has revealed the contents of leaked European Commission documents on the negotiations with India for the preferential admission of IT workers to the EU.

The documents reveal that the UK immigration quota for some worker categories is 40 per cent of the entire EU commitment – almost three times that of Germany and almost seven times that of France.

Under negotiations for an EU/India Free Trade Agreement, Migrationwatch UK said the Commission is preparing to offer India 35,000 to 50,000 work permits per year for the categories of Independent Professionals (IPs) and Contractual Service Suppliers (CSS).

While this is a figure for the number of visas the EU commits to offering, it does not limit how many a member state actually offers.
The negotiations are now well advanced and may be finalised in next week's negotiating Round.

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman Migrationwatch UK said the agreement comes at a difficult time for homegrown workers.

“This looks suspiciously like a side door to Britain for 15,000 - 20,000 Indian IT workers every year. It is even more astonishing coming at a time when British IT workers are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment and there is a 17 per cent unemployment rate amongst computer science graduates who left university last year.

“It is time to end the secrecy and for the government to come clean with what is going on and what, if any, safeguards are being put in place,” he said.

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