London: An Indian-origin peer has used the latest UK immigration data released today to highlight the positive impact of Indian migration on the country and called on the government to ensure a favourable and non- discriminatory visa regime for Indians.
The latest figures released today show that a majority of international students, including from India, do not overstay their entitlement to remain in the UK.
Lord Jitesh Gadhia said that the UK Home Office and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data shows that Indian visitors to Britain have a very high compliance rate on visas, with 97 per cent departing before the expiry of their visas.
“The new data published today by the Home Office shows that 97 per cent of Indians depart before the expiry of their visas and this compliance rate is above the average of 96.3 per cent for the top 10 visitor countries to the UK,” said Lord Gadhia.
“Going forward, the UK government should now have much greater confidence in providing Indian visitors, students and skilled workers with favourable visa access terms which are not discriminatory in any way,” he said.
The investment banker who entered the House of Lords last year welcomed an announcement by the UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, that she is commissioning the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake a detailed assessment of the social and economic impact of international students in the UK.
“Indian visitors, students and workers bring huge benefits to the UK economy through their purchasing power, academic contributions and skill sets – enriching our country and supporting our position as one of the most open and welcoming countries in the world,” Gadhia said.
The data released coincides with results of a new exit- check system introduced by the UK government in April 2015 with aim of building a more complete picture of whether those who entered the UK left when they were supposed to.
It indicates that figures of students over-staying may have been inflated in the past.
It is also hoped that the latest MAC assessment, due to report by September 2018, will add pressure on British Prime Minister Theresa May to remove student figures from the overall annual migration data.