New UK Visa policies to affect Indians starting from 24 November

The UK has announced modifications to the visa policies which also include higher salary ceiling. This will have an influence on several professionals and IT firms from India, specifically those who utilise the Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT).

The Indian workforce from the IT sector constitutes around 90% of the UK visas that are approved under the ICT mode. The modifications will also have an impact on the other sectors as well.

The revisions that were declared in the earlier part of this year are aimed at curbing the reliance of UK companies on professionals from India and the other non–EU nations. The Hindustan Times quotes the Home office as saying that these will be effective from 24 November.

The major modifications correspond to the Tier 2 visas. This includes enhancing the general salary ceiling for the experienced workforce to £25,000, with some exception; enhancing the ICT salary ceiling for short-term employees to £30,000, and eliminating the ICT skills transmit sub-category.

The modifications that were recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) also has provisions for decreasing the graduate trainee pay threshold for ICT to £23,000 and rising the number of positions to 20 per year per company.

As per the new laws, parents and partners of overseas migrants who intend to prolong their stay in the UK after a period of two and half years will have to clear a new language requirement test in English.

The committee on migration had made a particular reference to India in the report that it submitted in January relating to the IT industry, recommending for enhanced salary ceiling and other modifications.

The committee was of the opinion that migration was not helping employers enhance skills and training for the UK workers. It did not observe any supporting proof of long-term mutual arrangements wherein UK workers avail the chances of securing experience, training and skills from being employed in India.

The advisory committee on migration also observed that Indian firms were the maximum beneficiaries of the ICT scheme and, importantly, the top ten firms using this path were largely engaging Indian IT workforce.

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