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Govt in touch with UK on new immigration rules

Government on Wednesday said it was in touch with British authorities to ascertain the impact of new immigration rules on Indian nurses in that country due to the newly introduced salary threshold of 35,000 pounds per annum.



New Delhi: Government on Wednesday said it was in touch with British authorities to ascertain the impact of new immigration rules on Indian nurses in that country due to the newly introduced salary threshold of 35,000 pounds per annum.

Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs VK Singh said Indian High Commission in London was actively engaged with Indian associations in the UK to make appropriate presentation to British Migration Advisory Committee on the issue.

Over 30,000 nurses from India and other non-European countries employed with Britain's state-funded National Health Service (NHS) could be forced to leave the UK under new immigration rules.

"The High Commission of India is in touch with the UK authorities to ascertain the impact of the changes in immigration rules on Indian nurses in the UK," Singh told Lok Sabha, replying to a question.

The Minister said though no official data specific to Indian nurses was available, a report of the Royal College of Nursing has suggested that new immigration rules may lead to exodus of nurses of various nationalities.

Under the new immigration rules, the Tier-2 category of migrants from non-European countries - which includes nurses and chefs - must fulfill a higher salary threshold to be able to work in the country.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) had warned that the salary threshold could hit more than 30,000 nursing staff from non-European nations.

India is the second-largest supplier of nursing staff to the country after the Philippines, with over 15,000 fulfilling nursing shortages within the NHS.

Nurses in the UK on average earn salaries between 21,000 and 28,000 pounds a year. The new immigration rules will come into effect from April 6, 2016.  

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