Britain allays India’s visa concerns

August 23rd, 2010 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj Patil New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) British Immigration Minister Damian Green Monday assured India that Britain’s new cap on skilled labour was not designed to bar skilled professionals and stressed that key stakeholders in business and education sectors will be consulted to smoothen the visa process.

Green, who is currently on a three-day visit to India, met Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and allayed concerns of the Indian business over the British government’s annual cap on immigration from non-European Union countries, said sources privy to talks.

Sharma reiterated India’s worries that the proposed changes have the potential to hurt economic engagement between the two countries.

Green also interacted with officials of the British visa office at the British high commission as well as the visa application office at Nehru Place.

He leaves for Chandigarh Tuesday morning on a day-long visit during which he is expected to meet Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and P.S. Gill, Director General of Police, Punjab.

Green plans to hold extensive consultations with key persons associated with business and education sectors in India on Wednesday when he returns to New Delhi.

Green’s discussions with Indian leaders and officials are part of the broader consultation exercise to make the British visa process more efficient, Marcus Winsely, spokesperson of the British high commission, told IANS.

Before embarking on his visit, Green had said: “I look forward to using my visit to explain the changes under way in the UK’s immigration system and the reasons for them.”

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