This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.

Legal insights & industry updates

| 1 minute read

Prime Minister announces plans for new UK-India visa deal

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced plans to open up the UK to Young Indian Professionals aged between 18 and 30, from early next year. Under the plans unveiled at the G20 summit, Prime Minister Sunak confirmed that under a reciprocal arrangement, up to 3,000 Indian graduates will be able to come to the UK on a two-year work visa on an annual basis.  

The new scheme will sit under the banner of the existing Youth Mobility Scheme which is open to nationals from a designated list of countries. However, the requirements for Indian nationals under the new UK-India Young Indian Professionals Scheme will be more stringent than those placed on other beneficiaries of the Youth Mobility Scheme. Not only will Indian visa applicants need to be degree-educated, they will also have to apply through a ballot system for one of the available 3,000 places. Similar arrangements for nationals of other countries such as Australia and New Zealand do not require the visa applicant to hold any qualifications.

Under the plans, this visa will not provide a route to settlement in the UK. Those wishing to remain in the UK beyond their initial two-year visa will need to be able to switch into another visa route in order to extend their stay.

This recent visa announcement, although welcome, will do little to address the current labour shortages in the UK, particularly in lower-skilled professions. Brexit has clearly resulted in a major adjustment to the UK labour market, one which many industries are still struggling to come to terms with. Many are therefore calling for more drastic and immediate action to address the recruitment crisis. Whilst it would not solve the issue in its entirety, the unilateral expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme to the EU 27 member states would assist. The government has however previously dismissed such calls, preferring to extend the Youth Mobility Scheme on a bilateral reciprocal basis, often as part of wider political negotiations, which means the chances of change happening at pace are slim.

India is the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme, highlighting the strength of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership agreed last year.