Indians among most favoured migrants in UK, ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh: Survey

YouGov poll said that the Indian migrants have a more positive image in the UK as compared to other South Asian communities.

Indians among most favoured migrants in UK, ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh: Survey Image Credit: Reuters/ Representational Image

LONDON: The Indians residing in the United Kingdom are among the among most favoured migrants living in the country, a recent opinion poll has claimed. According to the YouGov poll, the Indian migrants have a more positive image in the UK as compared to other South Asian communities. 

As compared to Indian, the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were in the negative territory.

At least 1,668 British citizens were surveyed in the opinion poll, which was conducted last month.

During the survey, the respondents were asked a series of questions about the kind of contribution immigrants from various parts of the world make to British life.

The respondents gave Indians a big thumbs up - a strong figure of +25 - on the question about making a positive contribution to British life.

However, the other South Asian counterparts were not so lucky. Pakistanis scored a negative figure of -4 and Bangladeshis -3, according to the survey.

Net figures were calculated by taking away the figure for "negative contribution" from the figure for "positive contribution" in the survey.

The survey was conducted in the backdrop of a growing debate around the atmosphere for migrants in the UK.

A recent Windrush scandal, largely affecting Caribbean migrants who came to the UK before 1973, has thrown up the prospect of many Indians being caught up in similar issues of citizenship rights.

The Opposition Labour Party, while participating in a debate in a House of Commons earlier this week, had warned that the scandal engulfs immigrants from many Commonwealth countries, including "those who came from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh".

"This is an issue that has resonated around the Commonwealth. At a time when we are trying to build our relationship with the Commonwealth post-Brexit for trade and other reasons, it is extremely damaging what has been revealed about the way Commonwealth citizens have been treated," said Labour MP Diane Abbott, the UK's shadow home secretary, PTI reported.

The scandal relates to thousands of Commonwealth citizens who came to Britain many decades ago when there was little need for formal paperwork and are now legally resident in Britain but may not have all the documents to prove it.

The issue has snowballed into a major controversy with saw hundreds of Indian professionals staging a protest outside Parliament earlier this week against what they claim are unjust refusals of their right to live and work in the country.

Many have also taken to the courts to challenge the UK Home Office's use of a discretionary "good character" clause to deny them indefinite leave to remain (ILR) over legally permitted tax corrections.

Besides, there have been cases involving hundreds of doctors from India being denied visas after being recruited by the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) to fill staff shortages in the country's health service.

Ministers have reportedly been pressuring British Prime Minister Theresa May to ease the limited quota of such visas to allow doctors from outside the European Union (EU) to come to the rescue of the NHS.

Meanwhile, the Indian students are also among those who have been forced to abandon their courses in UK colleges and return to India as a result of a scam unearthed in an English language test programme called Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) in 2014.

Importantly, the YouGov survey concluded that overall public opinion in the UK towards immigration was negative. 

Immigration remains one of the most emotive issues in the country's political landscape, with the vote in favour of Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum largely attributed to a belief that it would help shut down the country's borders to uncontrolled migrants. 

(With PTI inputs)

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