BENGALURU: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday raised concerns over new visa restrictions placed by Britain and requested British prime Minister Theresa May to review the policy.
The British prime minister is in Bengaluru on a day visit to attend several engagements and will return to New Delhi in the evening. Siddaramaiah, who met May briefly along with state’s industries minister R V Deshpande and IT minister Priyank Kharge said that fast growing and high value tech sectors relied on effective immigration policy that attracted high-skilled workers and minimised barriers to the flow of talented people.
Under the new visa rules announced by the UK Home Office, anyone applying for a visa after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category will be required to meet a higher salary threshold of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds.
“The movement of skilled tech workers from India should be seen as a trade priority rather than an immigration issue. Temporary placement of highly-skilled individuals into the UK provides a significant economic boost while having a negligible impact on net migration. I request you to review the new policy so that the earlier threshold is continued,” he said.
According to the statistics provided by the chief Minister’s office, around 15 per cent of UK based companies in India are in Karnataka, which employs about 23,000 people. These companies are primarily in ICT, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, health and life science sectors. Several Karnataka based companies such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Dynamatic Technologies, Biocon, Microlabs continue to be present in UK.