On Thursday, UK Government has announced some changes in its existing Visa Policy to tackle the soaring immigration figures. Due to the new changes, non-EU nationals working in the IT industry are going to get affected.
According to the new Visa Policy, anyone applying for a UK visa after 24 November, under the Tier-2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) category will have to meet the minimum salary threshold of 30,000 pounds which was 20,800 pounds per annum before the new policy rules.
Indian IT companies in Britain are the major users of this route and according to the reports of UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), 90% of the visas were issued to Indian IT workers last year.
Here are some of the new rules issued by the Home Office regarding the Tier-2 Visas:
1. The General Salary threshold is increased to 25,000 pounds.
2. ICT salary threshold for short-term staff is also increased to 30,000 pounds.
3. Home Office has closed the ICT skill transfer category.
4. ICT Graduate Trainee salary threshold limit is reduced to 23,000 pounds.
5. Immigrants applying for an extension after 20.5 years will have to appear an English Language test.
Non-European Union Nationals, including Indians, will be affected by the new English language requirements while applying for settlement as a family member after 2.5 years in the UK . The new rules will apply to partners and parents whose visas are due to expire on or after May 1, 2017.
Tier 4 category rules were also changed and the category covers maintenance requirements for Doctorate Extension Scheme.
The Home Office said, “These changes are done to reduce British IT sector’s dependence on Indian and other non-European Union nationals”.
Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said that the ‘ready to work’ Indian workforce is acting as a hurdle for the training and development of Britain’s workforce and the committee also noted that they have not seen any such reciprocal opportunity given to British employees in India.
The decision by UK government has further highlighted the capabilities and talent of Indian workforce, which is also said to be one of the most hardworking pool of workforce around the world.
4 November 2016