The British government plans to introduce new rules this April to cap visas for less skilled workers from non-European countries to cut the number of immigrants from outside Europe.

The government aims to cap visas from outside Europe to 21,700 by next year, which is a 20 percent reduction, a measure that is likely to affect immigrants from India who constitute the highest number of migrants to Britain.

Britain receives 307,000 immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Americas annually, while Italy gets 284,000 migrants and Germany gets 238,000 migrants, according to the latest figures.

Britain is also holding consultation on how to cut the number of student visas, the Daily Mail reported.

Spain, which is the only country to take more immigrants from outside Europe than Britain, got 499,000 migrants from outside Europe covering 2008 even as Spain continues to remain the European country of choice for most Latin Americans.

“We have already introduced a limit on non-EU economic migration and throughout 2011 we will be introducing further controls across the board to affect every immigration route. We will exert steady downward pressure on immigration numbers, which is the sensible way to deal with the uncontrolled immigration system we inherited, British immigration minister Damian Green was quoted as saying.

“This shows why the government is committed to reducing net migration to sustainable levels from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands within the lifetime of this Parliament,” said Green.

According to a Whitehall survey last week, 80 percent of the people want to see a lower immigration and more than 50 percent of the population want the immigration numbers cut a lot more.

Four member states of the European Union accepted more than 100,000 immigrants from outside the EU in 2008, figures from Eurostat, the European Union's statistics department show.

The country outside the EU from where the most people came to Britain in 2008 was India, at 47,000.

In 2008, 165,000 people arrived in Britain from Commonwealth countries and 142,000 from other non-EU nations. The most recent statistics show 303,000 people came to Britain from outside the EU in 2009.