Theresa May will resist calls to relax visa controls for Indian workers, insisting the UK already has a “good system” for applications.
The Prime Minister, who was speaking on way to her first trade meeting in Delhi since the Brexit vote, said Britain was able to attract the “brightest and best” from outside the EU.
May said more high-level business executives will be given access to an invite-only visa service – ‘The Great Club’ provides top executives with bespoke support to arrange visas to the UK.
Thousands of Indians on work visas will also be able to join the Registered Travellers Scheme which means they can get through UK border controls more quickly.
The Prime Minister said she plans to use the two-day visit to reduce barriers to trade with India, however with the Indian government keen to secure more access to the UK for skilled workers, visa numbers are likely to be a sticking point in any talks.
"We have a visa system for countries outside the European Union which ensures the brightest and the best are able to come to the United Kingdom," she said. "We have, I believe, a good system. We will be talking about trade here."
The UK will offer new services to improve business travel for workers from India, which includes faster border clearance, but the government said this was more about speeding up the process than boosting numbers.
"As we leave the EU, we want to ensure that the United Kingdom remains one of the most attractive countries in the world to do business and invest," May said.