Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that he he wants 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…reports Asian Lite News
Delivering a keynote speech in Mumbai, Sadiq said that the best way to achieve that would be for the UK Government to commit to a more flexible visa system. This would benefit not only the UK’s relationship with India, but with other growing economies around the world.
He voiced his frustration that, while there has been a drive to increase UK trade with India, business is hampered by the UK visa system. 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.
To address that, Sadiq said UK Government to introduce a new post-study work route for international students.
The London Mayor criticised the Government for closing down the previous Tier 1 post-study work route. The number of Indian students coming to London has fallen by over 40 per cent since 2010, partly as a result of this, and now stands at 4,705 (2015/16).
Sadiq also wants Government to change the rules to make it easier for Indian entrepreneurs and skilled workers to gain visas, and to set up a new India-UK International Work Experience Programme to encourage young people from both countries to spend time and learn about India and the UK.
The Mayor is currently visiting India to promote London as a business and tourism destination and to strengthen the bonds between India and the capital.