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April - May 2008


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The British Minister for immigration honoured by FCI India

The Friends Circle International ( FCI ) India Chapter hosted a reception in honour of the visiting British Minister of State at the Home Office for Borders and Immigration, Mr Liam Byrne in Delhi during his recent fact finding visit to India, along with the visiting delegation of community leaders from the diverse communities in Britain.

Dr. Rami Ranger, Chairman of the Pakistan India and UK Friendship Forum led the delegation which included : Labour Peer Lord King, Maria Fernandes Chair ethnic minorities and an immigration lawyer, Conservative Councilor Mr Pritpal Singh, Lib Dem Councilor Parmjit Gill, Mr. Hanif Pathan Director Next Step Foundation, Teji Singh of Sterling Media and Gurpal Gill of Beconcare Services.

Ambassador KV Rajan. President of the FCI (India Chapter) welcomed the Minister and distinguished guests and stressed the need for making the movement of people between our two countries easier in order to achieve economic benefits which both countries had to offer to their people.

Dr. J K Nayar World President and Founder of the Friends Circle International thanked the Minister for taking into consideration the concerns of people who would be affected with his proposed overall immigration rules. He further pointed out that our nations shared common values and our relationship went back centuries. He was proud of the fact that NRI’s were making a positive contribution to Britain’s economic and cultural life.

Dr. Rami Ranger praised the Minister for Involving community representatives in the decision making process in order to formulate policies which have a wider consensus. He also paid tribute to the Minister for making the rules friendlier so that businessmen could obtain visas for a longer period at a time in order to save their valuable time when traveling. He praised the staff of the British visa section for doing an excellent job in detecting fraudulent applicants without making the genuine applicants suffer.

The Minister, Liam Byrne MP explained that Britain attaches a huge importance to India and as a result he visited India first. Business between the two countries was growing and so was investment. He was conscious that immigration rules must be improved to enable relatives and businessmen from India to visit Britain without difficulties in order to improve relationship further. He further explained that Britain would spend a great deal of resources in creating awareness about the perils of illegal immigration but would make it easier for legitimate applicants to travel to the UK. He concluded by thanking the FCI for hosting such a prestigious dinner which was also attended by local businessmen and dignitaries.

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