26 July 2010

UK Visa cap in spotlight during Prime Minister’s visit to India

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The UK Visa cap introduced by the government is again in the spotlight as Prime Minister David Cameron visits India, one of the countries affected by the non-EU immigration limit.

UK Visa

UK Visa policies restricting Indian professions sends out a contradictory message, say critics.

Critics have said Britain is sending out contradictory messages to India with the new immigration restrictions, just as they hope to improve relations.  David Cameron is leading the largest ministerial delegation to the sub-continent in recent history.

Accompanying the Prime Minister is Jo Johnson, the Conservative MP for Orpington, who has said the UK is restricting access for Indian entrepreneurs right at a time when we should be competing strongly to attract them.

The US has a start-up visa programme that is deliberately targeting the Indian entrepreneurial classes, offering residency rights for those who start businesses that create jobs.

Mr Johnson said the UK needs to be competing for the Indian entrepreneurial classes and encouraging them to come and invest here, and the UK Visa cap is sending a contradictory message.

The Government introduced an interim UK Visa cap last week with the full cap to come into effect in April next year.

The interim limits will apply to all new applicants under Tier 1 (General), except for extension applications and in-country applications. Applications under Tier 2 (General) will be limited by the number of Employer Sponsorship Licences that are issued.

The Indian Government has complained directly to the Prime Minister about the cap on non-EU immigration saying the policy affects professionals needed by the UK economy:  Indian doctors, engineers and nurses.

Cameron’s Indian visit also includes five cabinet ministers, including the foreign secretary, William Hague, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Vince Cable, together with a host of captains of British industry including the Barclays chief executive, John Varley.

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