17 January 2011

Business Secretary calms Indian fears over UK immigration Cap

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The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, will use his first speech on a trade mission to Mumbai on Monday to calm fears about the UK immigration cap and reassure India that the UK remains open for business to Indian investment.

UK immigration

India is a major source for doctors and nurses to the UK, as well as many other skilled occupations.

The UK immigration cap to be introduced in April will affect non-EU migrants, a major concern for India. The cap will affect the number of UK Visas issued to workers from outside of the EU and the number of Employer Sponsorship Licenses that are issued to businesses.

Mr Cable said: “I recognise there have been concerns expressed in some quarters in India that changes to British rules on migration might be detrimental to Indian firms, but I would like to state for the record that the Government has exempted Intra-Company Transfers from the annual limit which comes into effect in April.”

“We welcome the role which Indian workers play to the UK economy and, of course, the massive contributions made by the Indian delegation in the UK,” he said.

David Cameron originally wanted intra-company transfers to be included in the permanent annual UK Visa cap of 21,700, which takes effect in April.

However, this was dropped last year because of intense lobbying by a wide range of businesses, from banks and law firms to carmakers. In the future, intra-company transfer migrants will be allowed to stay for up to five years if their salary exceeds £40,000, and companies are able to bring members of their staff to work in the UK for a year if the job is in information or communication technology and the salary is over £24,000.

In his second visit to India as Business Secretary, Mr Cable will also set out how the UK Government’s commitment to India and to highlight Indian investment in the UK, as of the 1,200 Indian companies based in Europe, 700 are based in the UK.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK Visa applications to the British High Commission.  

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