29 July 2010

Cameron to consult with India about UK Visa cap

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David Cameron is expected to offer India a say on the plans for Britain’s new immigration policy as the Government responds to criticisms that the proposed UK Visa cap will harm trade links between the two countries.

UK Visa

David Cameron is expected to ask New Delhi for imput on the UK Visa cap.

The Government introduced a temporary UK Visa cap on non-EU immigration earlier this month and is currently consulting with the public and business leaders on the permanent cap that will be introduced in April next year.

Mr Cameron is currently visiting India with six cabinet ministers including Vince Cable, the business secretary, and David Willetts, the universities minister – both have expressed concerns about the immigration policy.

Mr Cameron is speaking today with business leaders in Bangalore, dubbed the Silicon Valley of India because of the software companies and IT exports, a city that New Delhi feels would be greatly affected by the cap.

In Downing Street recently, Anand Sharma, the Indian commerce minister, told the prime minister that the visa cap could have an "adverse effect" on trade relations and Indian professionals who make a notable contribution to the UK economy could find it too difficult to enter Britain.

India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and Britain’s trade links add up to around £11.5bn a year – a level Mr Cameron hopes to increase.

Cameron will today ask India to reduce barriers to foreign investment in banking, insurance and defence manufacturing – a request New Delhi may ignore if it feels its highly skilled citizens will be excluded from Britain.

The interim limits will apply to all new non-EU 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.

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