Despite introducing a limit on UK work permits and restricting the tightening up the immigration regulations for those moving to the country through the family or student routes, the prime minister is set to tell Indians that the UK will be “incredibly welcoming” to them.
David Cameron is set to visit India next week. Ahead of his departure he conducted an interview with India's Sunrise TV and stated that “there is no limit on the number of students who can come from India to study at British universities, no limit at all”.
He added: “All you need is a basic English qualification and place at a British university. And what's more, after you've left a British university, if you can get a graduate-level job there is no limit to the amount of people who can stay and work, or the time that they can stay at work.”
The comments are designed to encourage the brightest Indian students to make a move to Britain, but they are somewhat at odds with certain policies and comments that the prime minister has made to the British people.
An annual cap of 20,700 Tier 2 work permits was implemented by the government, along with restrictions on paid work for students and graduates. Indeed, foreign graduates need to be earning at least £20,000 a year if they want to remain in the country after they complete their course.
Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Authority suggest that the changers to the regulations have had a negative impact on the number of students moving to study. The agency found that there were 29,900 Indian students in the country in 2011/12, which was a notable drop from the 39,090 recorded in the previous year.