UK visa cap 'will not close Britain to India'

17 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK's business secretary has asserted that the role played by Indian workers in the UK is welcome.

Business secretary Vince Cable has attempted to reassure Indian firms that despite the UK visa cap, to be implemented later this year, the country is still open for business.

Speaking to a business audience at the Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr Cable said: "I recognise there have been concerns expressed in some quarters in India that changes to British rules on migration might be detrimental to Indian firms.

"But I would like to state for the record that the government has exempted Intra-Company Transfers from the annual limit which comes into effect in April."

"We welcome the role which Indian workers play to the UK economy and, of course, the massive contributions made by the Indian delegation in the UK," he added.

The UK immigration cap will see Tier 1 visas and Tier 2 UK work permits issued to non-EU workers cut to 21,700 a year.

However, as Mr Cable explained, the limit will not be imposed on Intra-Company Transfers. As such, many employees of international firms will be able to legally work at their overseas employer's UK base.

If an individual's yearly salary exceeds £40,000, then the worker will be given leave to work in the UK for up to five years.

However, if the job in question relates to information or communication technology, then this will be the case so long as the salary is over £24,000.