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India, UK trade deal to encourage more Indians to immigrate as…: Immigration expert

The UK India Business Council is calling for “mutually beneficial” immigration policies in India-UK trade talks. With the number of Indian nationals working and studying in the UK increasing, the Council highlighted the critical role of labor mobility in strengthening bilateral relations and supporting economic growth for both nations. Meanwhile, immigration experts suggest the trade deal is likely to encourage more Indians to immigrate to the UK in the coming years.

This comes as a recent report shows that Indian nationals have been granted more work visas to work in the UK in 2022 than any other nationality. They received 39% of the total number of work permits, a 90% jump from pre-pandemic levels. Indians also received more British citizenship than any other non-European nation.

UKIBC director general Kevin McCole says the living bridge is ‘a vital pillar of the UK-India bilateral relationship which contributes greatly to our countries’ economies and wider society’.

“Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of Indians coming to the UK thanks to positive developments that have widened and improved opportunities for mobility and flexibility, such as the new points-based immigration system and the extension of the post-study work visa. for students and graduates,” he said.

“As a result, the UK issues more work, student and tourist visas to Indians than any other nationality. As trade and investment relations continue to grow, labor mobility remains critical – having people with the right skills in the right place at the right time is really important for companies in the UK and India as well. We therefore hope for a mutually beneficial outcome on labor mobility in the ongoing free trade negotiations.”

His comments come as Britain seeks to deepen ties with India. Recently, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited India to launch an exchange program for young professionals to live and work in both countries.

The number of Indians in the UK will continue to grow

UK visa and immigration expert Yash Dubal, director of AY & J Solicitors, predicts that the number of Indian professionals moving to the UK to live and work will continue to grow.

He said: “These numbers are expected to continue to rise for two reasons. First, it outlined the UK and Indian government’s policy to build more links and double trade by 2030. The expected Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the nations will help achieve this goal and should make it easier for Indian nationals to work in the UK. A new youth mobility scheme opening the door to 3,000 additional young professionals from India was introduced this year as part of this aim. Second, the demographics of India, now the world’s most populous nation, mean that the nation’s growing educated younger population is looking to take advantage of new opportunities abroad, with the UK a favored destination.”

Much of the UK’s immigration infrastructure is focused on skilled workers, who make up the majority of work permit holders approved to work in the UK. There are several other visas available to entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and startups.

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Updated: 08 June 2023, 20:32 IST

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