This week, it has been reported that Indian industry representatives have asked the UK to ease it’s visa system to make Indian migrants movement between India and the UK easier. Prime Minister David Cameron has visited Indian twice, in a bid to persuade Indian students and businessmen to come to the UK. This is due to concerns that the Coalition’s immigration policies are putting off foreigners who have the ability to potentially boost the UK’s economy. The possible decline in Indian migration to the UK (in particular student migration) has been attributed to tough immigration laws and could be seen as the result of the Immigration Bill.
President of CII, Ajay Sriram: lets get the Benefit for both the UK & India
The conference brought together Senior Industry leaders from both India and the UK to discuss the new Indian Government’s scheme. Ajay Sriram, the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated at the Confederation’s annual conference at the St James’ Taj Hotel in London, that he believed that it is the right time to review the economic engagement between India and the UK.
“The UK has effected changes in policy which curb the movement of technical personnel between India and the UK. There is a need to examine ways to enhance the easier transfer of students and technical experts and address these issues on a priority to increase business engagement. We in CII strongly believe that the potential of business growth between the two countries is large. India is seeing a new wave, a new push, a new direction and let’s jointly work to capitalise on that and get benefit for both countries going forward.”
The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai, acknowledged that Indian companies listing in the UK will only increase and as a result more jobs will be created. Marian Sudbury, the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) representative at the CII conference made it clear that statistics show that 90 per cent of UK visas applied for by Indians are granted. Figures released by the Office of National Statistic‘s at the end of August 2013 showed that there is twice the amount of long term net migration from outside the EU than there is from inside it. In 2012, there were 48,000 visas issued to Indians which was more than three times the amount given to Australians who got the second most.
David Cameron Encourages Indian Migrants to come to the UK
Prime Minister David Cameron made his second visit to India last year. At that time, he responded to Indian complaints of barriers between India and the UK:
“One of the cases we are going to make this week is that we hope the Indian government will continue with the brilliant work that it has begun to open up the Indian economy, to take down the barriers and to make it easier to do business here”
During his trip he announced that a same-day British business visa service for Indian investors and said there was “no limit” to Indian student visas, as long as they had been accepted to a British school. The Prime Minister also denied that the Coalition’s tough line on immigration is putting off tens of thousands of Indians who want to study in the UK. It has already been reported that the number of Indian students in the UK fell to 16,000 last year down from 61,200 in 2009. Cameron blamed this on ‘bogus students’, who came to the UK to work not study.
“I think one of the reasons the numbers have fallen back from some countries is because a lot of people previously were not coming to study – they were coming to work. We want students to come and study.”
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