London: Amidst rising unemployment, Britain is putting in place new immigration restrictions on professionals from India and other non-EU countries so that existing jobs are first offered to local workers.
From April, the basic requirements to enter Britain under the Tier 1 category of the points-based immigration system will be raised. Over 25,000 people, incluidng many from India, entered Britain under Tier 1 last year.
The qualification and minimum salary levels for Indian and non-EU professionals will be raised to masters degree and £20,000 from the current requirement of undergraduate degree and £17,000.
Home secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to announce the new measures soon as part of a 10-point plan which aims to cut overall levels of immigration by next year.
She told The Sunday Telegraph: “We have put immigration controls in place that allow us to raise or lower the bar on the migrants who can come to the UK. We have always said it is important to be selective about who comes here to work.”
“We have already put a stop to low-skilled labour entering the UK from outside Europe. Now in response to the global recession and the downturn that has hit British workers, we are setting out how we will now be even more selective,” Smith said.