Several Indian professionals will be adversely affected by Britain’s new immigration rules that come into effect tomorrow as part of the David Cameron government’s efforts to reduce migration from non-European Union countries. The new immigration regime includes tighter rules for students, limits on skilled professionals and new restrictions on the settlement of migrants who are already in Britain.

The HSMP Forum, a campaign group espousing the cause of Indian and other non-EU migrants, Tuesday said the new restrictions on migrants already in Britain will cause considerable problems for Indian.

Indian professionals already in UK will face retrospective changes to their visa status, including a higher level of salary necessary for their continuing stay, and the stipulation that any application for settlement should be free of any convictions.

Under earlier rules, Indian and non-EU professionals qualified for settlement when they completed a residency period and remained employed by their immigration sponsor.

However, from tomorrow, the government will expect them to meet an income requirement assigned to their particular job title by the Codes of Practice (for sponsored skilled workers) to qualify for the ‘indefinite leave to remain’ status.

The current rates of salary defined by the codes of practice are comparatively much higher than the salaries mentioned in the work permits approved by the Home Office at the time.

Amit Kapadia, executive director of the HSMP Forum said, “The changes will cause undeniable hardship. The government’s approach is not only unfair but is both short sighted and heavy-handed. The government should stop targeting the very people who are required by Britain.”

He added, “Such changes will give a wrong picture to migrants and investors that even after they fulfill the rules, they would not be treated fairly. It will discourage investors and skilled migrants from coming to Britain.

“We urge the government to review the changes urgently and exempt existing Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants from these changes.”


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February 2024