LONDON: Indian professionals accounted for 57% of skilled UK work visas granted in the year ending March 2016, according to new figures released on Thursday, which also showed Indians receiving the second highest number of visas after the Chinese.
The latest figures revealed increased net migration during the year to 333,000, which once again missed the David Cameron government’s aim to bring it down to “tens of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands,” prompting renewed criticism in the EU-referendum related campaign.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that Asian nationals accounted for 298,231 (56%) of the 531,375 longer-term visas granted in the year ending March 2016, with China and India accounting for 17% and 16% of the total respectively.
Indian professionals also topped the number of National Insurance registrations – 34,000 – issued during the year. National Insurance numbers are mandatory for all workers in employment or self-employment in Britain.
Indian nationals accounted for 57% of total skilled work visas granted (52,109 of 91,833), with USA nationals the next largest nationality group (9,981 or 11% of the total), the ONS said.
India was third on the list of top countries for student visas, with 10,705 visas issues, accounting for 5 per cent of total granted. The number of Indian students has dwindled over the years due to curbs announced by the Cameron government since 2010.