Allaying fears of Indians regarding the recent tightening of immigration rules in the UK, secretary of state for business, innovations and skills of the country Vince Cable said he welcomed Indian skilled workers to the UK, Indian Express reports.
Cable said, although the British government had tightened visa rules for immigration, it was more applicable to unskilled migrants while “the issue which is now being discussed and consulted upon is students … we welcome them”.
Overseas students and skilled workers make contributions to British universities and economy, he added.
Recently, Britain had tightened its immigration policy to ensure that the total number of people settling in the UK is significantly reduced and only those who will benefit the country are allowed to stay.
Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said Indian professionals have made enormous contribution in British economy and “we have discussed the issue. Indian viewpoint and concerns have been fully registered and I appreciate and acknowledge that Cable and his government have taken a positive view”. Source: Indian Express.
Immigration Matters Comment
Whilst this article and Vince Cable’s apparent assurance may bring welcome relief to migrants, his own coalition government’s policies, like their plans to abolish the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa, do not mirror his views and appear to conflict with his earlier statements.
In a statement to the FT last year, the Liberal Democrat MP said that the immigration rules and immigration cap are causing “a lot of damage to business industry’.
Recent changes, such as the immigration cap (ruled illegal by a High Court Judge), have nothing to do with unskilled migration, which was already closed under Tier 3 of the points based system.
Employers are still being restricted from recruiting skilled migrants from outside the UK under the interim cap, even when the job is listed on the official shortage occupations list, such as Senior Care Workers.
Student visas are subject to a public consultation, but the government has already laid out its stall on cutting overseas student as part of plans to slash migration.
The British government has clearly stated that it ‘intends to reduce annual net migration to the UK to sustainable levels, in the tens of thousands a year’, and that it ‘expects the student route to make its contribution towards reducing net migration’.
Ministers believe that ‘students now represent the largest proportion of net migration from outside Europe’, although some experts argue that students are not migrants at all. Nevertheless, the government wants to introduce measures to restrict the number of students entering the country and ensuring that the number of international students coming to the UK is ‘broadly in balance with the number leaving’.
The government’s policy aim is to ensure that ‘only genuine students who are committed to their academic study come to the UK’, and with a ‘presumption that upon completion they will leave promptly’.
With less two weeks left to take part in the Student Immigration System public consultation, which will help shape the future of international student visa rules in the UK, higher education providers are lobbying the government to drop plans to end the popular Tier 1 post study work visa. Indian students and migrants are probably the largest group using the Tier 1 route.
You can respond online to the consultation at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/student-consult-online which will take around 30 minutes to read and complete.
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