The changes made by the British government to its visa rules for citizens of non-EU countries became effective on 24 November. It is expected to affect a lot of Indians and more specifically technology workers.
The new regulations, which the UK Home Office announced in early November, require applicants for the Tier-2 ICT (intra-company transfer) category to be earning a salary of at least £30,000 per year, an increase from the earlier threshold requirement of £20,800 per year.
The ICT category has been most often used by Indian technological companies in the UK, and according to the UK’s MAC’s (Migration Advisory Committee) findings in early 2016, IT workers from India made up for close to 90 percent of visas issued under this category.
The Press Trust of India quotes a UK Home Office statement as saying that the first two revisions to Tier 2 that the government of UK had announced in March after a review by the MAC will impact applications made from 24 November onwards.
In addition, the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold has been raised for experienced workers to £25,000, with a few exemptions; the Tier 2 (ICT) graduate trainee salary threshold has been lowered to £23,000 and the number of places has been hiked to 20 per company every year; and the sub-category of Tier 2 (ICT) skills transfer has been closed.
Also affected will be non-EU nationals, including Indians, owing to the new English language requirements when they apply for settlement as a family member following two and a half years of stay in Britain on a five-year path to residency settlement in the country.
The new rule would be applicable to partners and parents of applicants whose current leave to remain in Britain under the family immigration rules will be expiring from 1 May 2017 onwards.
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