Britain has tightened immigration rules from January for Indian IT professionals seeking to move to the UK under inter-company transfers.

From next year, workers in this category will need to have 12 months’ experience instead of six months as at present with their employer before they can be transferred to the UK, official sources said.

The immigration category will be closed as a route to permanent settlement in the UK.

This means that IT professionals who come to the UK under inter-company transfer will not be allowed to settle here permanently even after the mandatory stay of five years.

Immigration officials also denied reports that the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) category of the points-based system was providing a loophole for Indian IT companies to bring foreign workers into the UK.

Under an intra-company transfer, an employer can fill vacancies in its UK operations by bringing across some of its existing foreign-based staff.

It has been claimed that this enables jobs in the IT and other sectors to be taken by migrants who are paid less than resident workers.

The Home Office, however, said that this was not true.

“Workers coming to the UK in the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) category must be paid the going rate”, it said.

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