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Tier 2 work visa changes won’t affect Indians, say UK authorities

Posted on April 22, 2016
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UK Tier 2 Work Visa

The United Kingdom (UK) government assuaged fears being harboured by Indians over the reforms in visa rules, which state that Tier 2 visa holders would either need to leave or face deportation, in case they are earning below 35,000 pounds a year, after their visa terms expire.

As of now, thousands from India and other countries from outside the EU (European Union) work and stay in Britain. James Brokenshire, UK Immigration Minister, was quoted as saying that the change in rules would not affect a ‘vast majority’ of professionals from India. This is because in 2015, 89 percent of all work visas issued to Indian nationals was for routes that did not affect the income threshold of 35,000 pounds.

The idea behind Tier 2 work visas reforms was to make sure that businesses could attract skilled professionals they badly need, and also to see to it that recruitment and training of local workers could be improved, he added.

The changes to the Tier 2 norms, which were announced on 31 March, 2016, state that non-EU workers need to earn a minimum of 35,000 pounds per annum to stay back in Great Britain for over six years. This is not applicable to those working in a PhD-level job which features on Shortage Occupation List of UK that includes nurses too.

As per the new rules, professionals who wish to apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR) at the end of a five-year term during which they lived and worked in the UK, should henceforth provide proof that their earning is above 35,000 pounds annually.

The threshold was increased from 21,000 pounds per year following the advice of the MAC (Migration Advisory Committee).

Authorities state that most Indian nationals who come to the UK to work, do so through the Tier 2 ICT (Intra Company Transfer) route. This, however, does not apply to ILR in any way and Indians, therefore, are not impacted by these changes.

The UK government also stated that employers were very well aware of these reforms since 2011, the year of announcement, and only those who entered on Tier 2 visas after April 2011 would be impacted.

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