UK student visas for Indians up 102% in 12-month period ending Sept 2021

Indians were also the top nationality granted high-value work visas, accounting for around one-sixth or 17% of the total, statistics released by the UK home office on Thursday showed
A representational image. (REUTERS/File)
A representational image. (REUTERS/File)
Published on Nov 26, 2021 12:30 PM IST
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Student visas issued by the UK to Indian nationals increased 102% in the 12-month period ending in September 2021, while skilled worker visas issued to Indians during the same period were up 47%, according to the latest British immigration statistics.

Indians were also the top nationality granted high-value work visas, accounting for around one-sixth or 17% of the total, statistics released by the UK home office on Thursday showed.

British high commissioner Alex Ellis tweeted on Friday about the increase in the grant of student and skilled worker visas to Indians and said the “huge demand is why turnaround of visas is taking longer than usual”.

The number of Indian students in the UK had dipped since 2012, when the post-study work visa was scrapped and more Indians began going to European countries such as France and Germany for higher studies. In July, the UK opened a new graduate immigration route that benefited Indian students by allowing them to stay longer in Britain after finishing their studies to look for jobs.

Also Read: UK suspends flights to 6 African countries as new Covid variant emerges

Compared with the year ending in September 2020, there was an increase of 45,677 (102%) student visas granted to Indians, taking the total to 90,669. It was 197% higher than the figure of 30,496 visas for the year ending September 2019.

Indians remained the nationality with the second highest number of sponsored study visa grants. The list was topped by Chinese students, who were granted 135,457 visas in the year ending September 2021, up from 52,698 in the previous year or a 157% increase.

Indian and Chinese nationals together comprised more than half (53%) of all sponsored study visa grants.

In the case of work visas, Indians were the top nationality granted high value work visas, accounting for about one-sixth or 17% of the total. They were followed by US and Chinese nationals, who accounted for 11% and 10% respectively. The high value work visas include those granted to the exceptional talent route, investors and entrepreneurs.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, in the year ending September 2019, China, India and Pakistan had been the top three nationalities in this category.

Indian nationals also accounted for more than two-fifth or 42% of all skilled work visas granted by the UK.

In the case of visitor visas, the UK granted 260,275 such visas in the year ending in September 2021, or 72% lower than the previous year, with the largest falls registered for Chinese (down by 145,472 visas or 93%) and Indian (down by 120,408 or 70%) nationals.

Together, Chinese (4%) and Indian (20%) nationals accounted for almost one-fourth of total visitor visas granted. “This is around half the proportion seen immediately prior to the pandemic, when Chinese and Indian nationals combined accounted for just under half of all grants,” according to a statement from the UK home office.

Indians were second on the list of top five nationalities granted family-related visas in the year ending September 2021, coming in after Pakistani nationals.

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Thursday, June 30, 2022