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UK changes visa policy, Indian techies to be hit

 The Hawk |  2016-11-05 06:29:19.0  0  Comments

UK changes visa policy, Indian techies to be hit

London: A number of changes have also been announced for the Tier 4 category, which covers maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. In a crackdown to curb its soaring immigration figures, the UK government has announced changes to its visa policy for non-EU nationals, which will affect a large number of Indians, especially IT professionals. Under the new visa rules announced on Thursday evening by the UK Home office, anyone applying after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds. The ICT route is largely used by Indian IT companies in Britain, and the UK�s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had found earlier this year that Indian IT workers accounted for nearly 90% of visas issued under this route. The changes come just a couple of days before British Prime Minister Theresa May lands in India on Sunday on a three-day visit. �The first of two phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee, will affect applications made on or after November 24, unless stated otherwise,� a UK Home office statement said. Besides the Tier 2 ICT salary threshold hike, the other changes announced include increasing the Tier 2 (general) salary threshold for experienced workers to 25,000 pounds, with some exemptions; reducing the Tier 2 (ICT) graduate trainee salary threshold to 23,000 pounds and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year; and closing the Tier 2 (ICT) skills transfer sub-category. A number of changes have also been announced for the Tier 4 category, which covers maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. �(Immigration) is not serving to increase the incentive to employers to train and upskill the UK workforce. Ready access to a pool of skilled IT professionals in India is an example of this,� the MAC report had said in its findings. �We did not see any substantive evidence of long-standing reciprocal arrangements whereby UK staff are given the opportunity to gain skills, training and experience from working in India,� it noted. The MAC had said that the evidence indicated that multinational companies with a presence in India had developed a competitive advantage in delivering IT projects in the UK. �They have developed a delivery model, whereby significant elements of projects are delivered offshore in India, taking advantage of the fact that Indian salaries are lower than in the UK for equivalent workers. PTI

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