Theresa May, the British Prime Minister has begun her visit to India and as expected visa and travel to the UK is high on the agenda. The Prime Minister has suggested that there could be a ‘one in, one out’ system as part of efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries following the Brexit vote. Whilst there have been no decision yet made the two countries have agreed that there will be a dialogue covering, amongst other things visa and over stay returns.
She has already stated that the UK will continue to offer visas for the brightest Indian students and has announced that India will be the first country to be invited to nominate business people for the Great Club – a bespoke immigration system.
The Indian government have said that during the talks they will be pushing for more visas to be issued to Indian students but there is a reluctance to do this amid concerns in the UK over the number of foreigners coming to the country. However it is clear that any discussions on closer economic ties between the two countries will have to include dialogue on the ongoing visa question. Mrs May has suggested during the visit that there could be an agreement on increased visas for Indian citizens if there is co-operation on the speed and volumes of Indians that are over stayer in the UK.
It is clear that there is plenty to discuss and with UK post Brexit keen to make new trading partners there is an opportunity for both countries to benefit from increased co-operation. The visa question will remain top of the agenda for the Indian government and they will continue to strive for relaxed immigration to the UK in return for closer economic ties. More discussions are due to take place in the coming days and weeks.