India looks like it will help to pick up the slack in the British immigration system. The British government has opened up a Visa Application Center in Bengaluru. Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis travelled to India to open the new hub. The area has seen a recent spike in Tier 2 applications and the British government took the bold step to try and encourage this flow to carry on.
Though it appears the move has provoked much scepticism among the immigration community. Many believe that the prospects for Tier 2 visa holders once they reach the UK are poor. They also believe that the British government needs to improve conditions and rights for those who are now living in the UK rather than trying to encourage more immigrants to join them.
They may have a point. In the UK conditions are generally not great for Tier 2 visa holders and the government could be doing a lot more to ensure better outcomes. But for now, the British government at least appears to be doing something on immigration and that is certainly better than nothing. Many in the UK are worried that the changes are not happening quickly enough to prevent issues once Brexit hits in March 2019.
With Brexit rapidly approaching, the future of immigration in the UK is likely to change significantly and needs a change of policy from the current Conservative government. The government has set out the policy to reduce immigration to the UK overall, but it appears that the UK needs to maintain its current levels just to maintain its position.
India is historically a trading partner with the UK and will likely be very important in the economic future of the UK. After Brexit, the UK will need to forge strong partnerships with countries outside of the EU and India fits the bill perfectly. India tried, in vain, to strongarm the UK in the early days after the Brexit referendum result was announced to try and gain extended rights for their citizens. This move was swiftly rebuffed in public, but behind the scenes, it is likely that there will be some movement. India has a huge population and that could supplement the UK's shrinking native population.
The move to open a hub will be well received in India, the UK is a common destination for Indian students and Tier 2 visa workers. Having a local hub will be very useful for the British government to be able to speed up processing and improve the flexibility in bringing immigrants to the UK. The move could be a winner for everyone.
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