London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that he is preparing a proposal to revise visa policies like for post-study work visas.
Sadiq Khan started a week-long trade mission in Mumbai yesterday and UK visa system has been one of the key issues during the Mayor’s talk with business leaders.
I want the UK and India to forge a new special relationship that is not only based on trade and investment – but also encourages talented Indian people to study and work in London https://t.co/TrfTrstSXs
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) December 4, 2017
Khan announced a plan that sets up a separate post-study work route for international students to replace the system scrapped by Theresa May in 2012. This plan aims to open Britain’s door to more students to boost the economy as the number of Indian students in London has decreased by over 40% from 2010.
Great London Authority said: “Many Indians, particularly young students, are finding it harder than ever to gain visas to work and study in the UK. These Indians are choosing to go to the USA, Canada，and Australia instead, who are reaping the benefits.”
Khan called for a two-year visa for start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have the annual number limit. He also wanted to lift the financial requirements of between 50,000 to 200,000 for India entrepreneurs to encourage companies who have little liquid capital.
He also planned a new India-UK international work experience programme to boost future trade links between the two countries.
During a speech to entrepreneurs, Khan said: “This is not only counterproductive, but simply wrong for the British Government to launch a charm offensive on the one hand but then to enforce via a system that makes it more difficult for Indians to come to our country with the other.”
Dame Minouche Shafik, the director of the London School of Economics supported mayor’s plan on visa system and said: “Increasing the availability of post-study work visas will help encourage the brightest minds from countries like India to study at London’s world-leading universities, while reaffirming to the world that London is open.”
Sub-read: Megha Shamma