UK Might Ease Immigration Rules For Indians Ahead of Trade Talks
13:50 GMT 02.01.2022 (Updated: 10:41 GMT 19.07.2022)
© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthThe Union and Indian flags hang near the London landmark Big Ben in Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015.
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual summit with his British counterpart Borris Johnson in May 2021, where the two leaders discussed bilateral trade agreements and relaxation of the UK visa regime for Indian citizens.
As the UK's trade talks with India, which are due to be held later this month, approach, the United Kingdom is contemplating making it easier for Indians to procure a visa in exchange for a trade deal.
UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will travel to New Delhi for the formal negotiations on the proposed India-UK free trade agreement (FTA), British daily newspaper 'The Times' reported on Saturday.
Earlier, the Indian government suggested that the UK lower its visa fees and allow Indian students temporary residency in the country once they complete their studies. Britain is one of the top choices for Indians to complete their higher education.
The report suggests that Indian citizens could be offered a similar visa deal to Australians, allowing young workers the right to live and work in Britain for up to three years.
A work visa for Indians at present costs up to £1,400 (INR 118,652, $1,900), whereas students pay £348 and tourists £95.
"The tech and digital space in India is still hugely protectionist and if we could open up even a sliver of access, it would put us ahead of the game," a government official told 'The Times'.
"Britain will be hoping its close ties with India could see it trump the rest of the world and secure a historic trade deal, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises to go 'further and faster to push Britain ahead in a post-Brexit world'," a report on news website dailymail.co.uk said.
A spokesman from the Department for International Trade said: "India is projected to become the world's third-largest economy by 2050 and a free trade agreement will open up enormous opportunities for UK businesses to trade with India's £2.25 trillion economy.
"Companies up and down the country can look forward to the benefits, from manufacturers in the West Midlands to tech experts in Belfast, and we look forward to launching negotiations early next year."