The Indian government has raised concerns about changes to the UK salary threshold for people in Britain via the Tier 2 visa route who are seeking permanent residence in the country.
India’s parliament was told that the authorities have taken up the issue with their counterparts in the UK, amid worries about the effects the changes will have on Indian citizens working in Britain.
The changes to the Tier 2 visa settlement requirements affects all non-EU nationals working in the UK under the skilled workers’ visa.
The new rules, which came into force on April 6 this year, mean that people who entered the UK on a Tier 2 visa after April 6 2011 must receive a salary of at least £35,000 a year to be eligible to apply for leave to remain in the country.
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the parliament in a written reply to questions about the changes: “The government has taken up the matter bilaterally with the UK government at various levels and expressed concerns over the changes in UK visa rules.”
Tier 2 visas are used by UK companies and overseas businesses with bases in Britain to bring skilled overseas workers into the country. People using this UK visa route require sponsorship from the company they will be working for.
Indian citizens are set to be the biggest nationality to be affected by the salary changes, because they make up the largest group of people using the Tier 2 visa route to work in Britain. It’s likely that thousands of Indian professionals who do not earn £35,000 a year – a salary much higher than the UK average – will be hit by the changes.
The higher salary requirement was announced by the UK government in 2012, as part of efforts to reduce the number of non-EU citizens migrating to Britain.