NRI entrepreneur Lord Bilimoria for easing UK visa rules for Indian students

NRI entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria has asked the British Government to remove students from the immigration figures and re-introduce the post study work visa. This comes as a measure after concerns over the decline on the number of Indian students coming to study in United Kingdom Universities during the recent past.

Karan Faridoon Bilimoria, Lord BilimoriaCBE, DL (born 26 November 1961, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India is an Indian-origin British entrepreneur and a life peer. He is best known as one of the two founders and Chairman of Cobra Beer.

Participating in a debate on the Immigration Bill in the House of Lords, Lord Bilimoria said, “The prime minister ( David Cameron) talks about Britain having to take part in a global race yet the government’s insistence is on following this madcap immigration cap policy and targeting bringing down the immigration level to the tens of thousands. This is shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria

Lord Karan Bilimoria

He recommended that, “First, student figures should be removed from the immigration figures to send out a clear message that we do not include them in the government’s madcap immigration cap target. Secondly, a system in which everyone’s passports will be scanned in and out of the country, at all ports of entry, should be introduced as soon as possible and the government should bring back the post-student work visa.”

“What are the government thinking of? Why do the government keep including student numbers in the immigration figures when Canada, Australia and the United States – our immediate competitors – do not? Theprime minister has said that there is no limit to the number of students that we want to come to study in theUnited Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, A majority of Indian students have admitted to feeling highly unwelcome in the UK.
A study of the attitudes of 3,100 international students by the National Union of Students (NUS) has revealed almost 50% feel the UK government was either “not welcoming” or “not welcoming at all towards overseas students”. The NUS is a confederation of students’ unions in the UK.

Even after the drop, Indian and Chinese students make up almost 35% of all non-EU domicile students in the UK.
Prime minister David Cameron and home secretary Theresa May have pledged to reduce net migration to below 100,000 before the next election in 2015. Study remains the most common reason for migrating to the UK, but the numbers fell to 197,000 from 239,000 the previous year.

Sharanya Bharathwaj