International News

New UK visa rules for non-EU citizens set to affect Indian professionals

The changes include raised salary thresholds for different categories, and modified English language requirements.

The United Kingdom has announced changes to its visa approval policy for non-European Union citizens, PTI reported on Friday. The changes, which include the raising of salary tiers for different categories and new English language requirements, will reportedly affect Indian workers, especially information technology professionals.

According to the new rules, anybody applying for a Tier 2 intra-company transfer after November 24 will be required to meet a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 (approximately Rs 24.95 lakh) per year, up from the current figure of £20,800 (approximately Rs 17.29 lakh). Other changes include increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary limit to £25,000 (approximately Rs 20.80 lakh) and shutting the Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) skills transfer sub-category.

Changes were also announced to the Tier 4 category, which includes living and maintenance requirements for Doctorate students. Updated English language requirements will also apply to parents and partners whose current permission to stay in the UK will expire on or after May 1, 2017. The announcement comes after a study by the Migration Advisory Committee, which found – among other things – that nearly 90% of visas approved under the ICT route were issued to Indian IT workers.

The country had earlier announced its intentions to limit net migration to just “tens of thousands”. News of the changes come ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s three-day visit to India, which will begin on Sunday, according to Mint. The visit – May’s first bilateral engagement outside the European Union – will see the British government push for negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade agreement with India, according to the daily.

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