India is continuing to put pressure on the UK following the introduction of its new immigration law, which hurts professionals earning less than £35,000 per year. This was notified to the Parliament on 2 May, 2016.
The British government had effected certain modifications to the immigration rules in 2012, according to which, settlement would adversely impact workers from the non-European economic areas who possess tier II visas as per the UK Migration Advisory recommendations, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Minister, in a written reply. India has been raising this issue unswervingly with the UK government, asking it not to implement these recommendations in the interests of the existing bilateral trade ties between both the countries as it would hurt both Indian IT companies as well the UK’s own economy and competitiveness, added Sitharaman.
As per the committee’s recommended changes, all skilled workers from the non-European economic area having tier II visas, barring in certain exempted segments, would be eligible to reside in the UK permanently only as long as they earn at least £35,000 yearly. Most affected by these changes will be tier II migrants who got their visas as per the immigration rules, effective since April 2011, and who wish to seek permanent residence in the UK after five years.
Data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals that of the total 55,589 tier II sponsored visa petitions cleared in 2014-2015 around 78 percent (31,058) were for Indians. In 2014-15, the bilateral trade between the UK and India was estimated at $14.33 billion. The continued pressure exerted by the Indian government on Britain will make the UK government temper down its modifications as India is one of its major trading partners. The UK also would not like to disturb the symbiotic relationship it enjoys with India due to the bilateral trade.