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Indian professionals oppose new UK visa move

A leading organisation espousing the cause of Indian and non-EU professionals has strongly opposed the recommendation of a key committee that the salarythreshold for professionals seeking to permanently settle in the UK be raised considerably.

world Updated: Nov 07, 2011 19:01 IST

A leading organisation espousing the cause of Indian and non-EU professionals has strongly opposed the recommendation of a key committee that the salary
threshold for professionals seeking to permanently settle in the UK be raised considerably.

Raising the threshold as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will make thousands of Indian and non-EU professionals working in UK ineligible for permanent settlement, which is called the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

The latest report of the MAC says: "To ensure greater differentiation in the selection decision, we suggest implementing a minimum annual pay threshold. This could reasonably be between 31,000 pounds and 49,000 pounds per year".

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum, which successfully challenged Home Office's immigration decisions in the past, has criticised the recommendation and said that the "whole idea of introducing such an income criteria is a blatant mockery of the system".

The current criterion for ILR is to show the salary drawn at the time of applying for previous extension.

Indian and other non-EU professionals can apply for ILR after working for five years and demonstrating continued employment.

If the MAC recommendation is accepted by the Home Office, which usually accepts its recommendations, it will mean that those earning an annual salary below 49,000 pounds or the final agreed figure will not be able to apply for the ILR.