Indians are among the largest group of professionals set to benefit from a new UK government plan to remove any limit on the number of PhD-level work visas to be granted. UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced on Wednesday in a Budget update, referred to as the annual Spring Statement, that from later this year all such highly-qualified roles will be exempt from any cap on the numbers that can apply and come to work in Britain.“[A] key pillar of our plan is backing Britain to remain at the
forefront of the technology revolution that is transforming our economy.And to support that ambition, from this autumn we will completely exempt PhD-level roles from the visa caps,” Hammond said in his speech in the House of Commons. “From autumn 2019, PhD-level occupations will be exempt from the Tier 2 (General) cap, and at the same time the government will update the immigration rules on 180-day absences so that researchers conducting fieldwork overseas are not penalised if they apply to settle in the UK,” he added in his statement. According to the most recent UK Home Office data, Indians form the largest chunk of highly-skilled professionals within the Tier 2 (General) category of work visas, accounting for 54 per cent of all such visas granted in 2018.