No citizenship status for Indian professionals in UK

By SiliconIndia  |   Friday, 21 August 2009, 11:05 Hrs   |    8 Comments
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No citizenship status for Indian professionals in UK
Bangalore: UK government has recommended that Indian IT and other professionals who are transferred to Britain by their companies may not be able to apply for citizenship. The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum said that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had recommended that skilled professionals who come to Britain on 'intra-company transfer' rules should not be allowed to apply for British citizenship.

Under the current rules, after five years of working in the UK on the intra-company transfer route or any other route under tier-II, it is possible to be granted permanent residence. In the wake of the allegation on Indian tech firms by several British trade lobbyists for misusing the 'intra-company-transfer' rules by replacing the UK workers at wages lower than prescribed levels in the country, UK government is set to evaluate immigration rules proposed by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

Meanwhile, Indian IT workers in UK feel that such recommendations are not required. "Tier-II visas without the right to settlement will lead to exploitation of skilled professionals, who will have to pay taxes but will not be able to settle in the UK," said Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum in UK. UK, which is one of the top export markets for India's over $40-billion software industry, had granted around 45,766 work permits to workers coming to the country through intra-company-transfer route last year. The majority of intra company transfers were for Indian nationals, who account for 69 percent of the permits granted through this route. Almost half (48 percent) of intra-company transfers were for Indian nationals in just one occupation - software professionals.

Top Indian tech firms including TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra serve British customers such as BT, British Petroleum and British Airways by sending Indian professionals to the country on short-term project assignments. With more stringent norms, these companies may have to employ more local UK workers instead of sending their Indian staff for onsite projects. Ann Swain, Chief Executive, Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said, "Companies are even allowed to pay these workers offshore in foreign currencies, so intra company transfers are potentially very easy to exploit in order to bring cheap foreign labour into the UK."

The MAC report submitted by MAC's Chairman, Professor David Metcalf to UK's Home Secretary recommended that the threshold salary levels for allowing entry of a graduate skilled worker should be raised from around 17,000 British Pound currently, making it tougher to earn points needed for allocation of work permits. Metcalf said, "We believe that the earnings thresholds should rise in line with earnings inflation. We recommended to raise the minimum threshold for gaining 10 points to 24,000 British Pound per annum, and minimum threshold for gaining 15 points to 28,000 British Pound per annum."

Nasscom, the Indian software industry lobby said that the recommendations would help in fixing the loopholes in the system. Som Mittal, President, Nasscom said, "The issue of salary, at least 20,000 British Pound a year as minimum wage for an employee going to the UK is also acceptable as less than 0.2 percent of the current ICT employees going to the UK are at a salary less than that. This measure has been put in place to check abuse,"

However, MAC's recommendations are pure advisory and the office of Home Secretary may or may not accept them. Chris Dix, Regional Director - South Asia and the Gulf, UK Border Agency said, "We need to remember that these are only recommendations at this stage and the government is considering the report before responding formally. Till now, no any decision has been taken, so it would be very early to speculate on the government's response."

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Reader's comments(8)
1: Firstly UK is no place to permanently settle down:
1.Very expensive
2.Quite racist
3.Bad public schools

I don't know why we are in the commonwealth in the first place I think we should just withdraw after 2010 commonwealth games and go our separate ways.
Posted by:shobhit - 28 Aug, 2009
2: Hi Dear

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Posted by:mary - 21 Aug, 2009
3: its for people with Tier2 visa who go onsite or transferred to UK from india...

its not for Tier1 visa holding people
Posted by:Test - 21 Aug, 2009
4: do people still want to migrate to that country? I think it is a sick place (has always been IMO).
Posted by:Ankit Chandra - 21 Aug, 2009
I know UK may not be as attractive as it was earlier. Still people want to migrate there from India even though India has made good progress in the last 10-15 years. It only means that a bad UK is better than a good India
R Gupta Replied to: Ankit Chandra - 21 Aug, 2009
6: Why is this type of step being taken by UK government. I don't think, its going to help them by anyway.
Posted by:uvb - 21 Aug, 2009
dear friends i know you may not agree with me but i like to see the quality debate on this matter. if any indian apply on his own for a HSMV to migrate to UK they are well coem also the people who will be trasfered from their own company to do a small short or medium or may be long term projects have to be return to India when they finish their assinment or when they call back by their firm to serve in india. if all the professionals leave india and seek citizenship out side india its moraly wrong. india gave them the oppurtunity in education and professional skils they can play a part or role in the world but they all have to go back to india and develop that country if they all feel as soon as they get an opurtunity that they should leave india its totaly and fundementaly wrong attitute.
people are given chance in their life to improve their skils and knowledge abouve all to serve the world with pride show their hiden talents in to practice. but if they run away from india they are not loyal to the country and hwo about the moral duty for them to give some thing back to their country which educated them? i am not advocating that indians should not go out side india we are proud of our people and their contribution with dedication and comitment in a professional level.
i strongly belive if any company send them to serve in UK or any other part of thr world on a short assignment they should go back to india. they shouldnt seek citizen ship. thanks
ratnam Replied to: uvb - 21 Aug, 2009
There is a growing feeling of resentment towards foreigners entering the UK. I went to the UK over 4 years ago and in the last 3 years I have noticed a lot of resentment towards me. They see me as taking their jobs. I am now looking at moving back to India. There are so many Indians here now, I feel that there will be a lot of hatred towards us in a few years. The wages look high in the UK when you are living in India but everything is so expensive here. I had more money to spend when I was working in India.

People in India have too much focus on money - theat is why they move abroad. After my experience I have learned that money is not the most important thing, but to be proud and to have lots of good friends which I find hard in the UK.
Samir Patel Replied to: ratnam - 26 Aug, 2009