India to discuss new visa rules with May

During Prime Minster Theresa May’s visit to India starting on November 6th High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik is hoping to reach an agreement with the Britain on allowing short-term visas for Indians wanting to visit for a range of reasons.  The discussions will include visas for students, academics, and businessmen. "I hope we will have a deal on Britain facilitating short-term visas for students, academicians and businessmen from India and these categories should not be in the migration list," Patnaik has said. This is Theresa May’s first visit to India in her new role as prime Minister and her first bilateral outside Europe and it is hoped that India can reach some valuable agreements as Britain seeks to create new economic alliances following the Brexit vote.  There is considerable British expectation surrounding the visit and it is hoped that these meetings signal the start of negotiations with countries outside the European Union. Currently concessions are given to Chinese citizens extending the visa duration from 6 months to 2 years and the Indian government will be pushing hard to get the same deal for Indian citizens wanting to visit the UK for business, tourism and academic study.  It is widely expected that these visa concessions will be extended to Indian citizens under the new discussions.  Under the pilot concessions with China a UK visa is valid for 2 years rather than 6 months and cost £87 – currently a two year visa for Indians is £330. In a continuation of the process of off shoring jobs from Britain to India the impact of Brexit is expected to increase this flow.  Some estimates suggest that in the coming months over 2000 jobs are expected to be off shored to India.  With Brexit high on the agenda it is hoped that India and Britain can strengthen ties and facilitate easier travel between the two countries.

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