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5,500 Indians applied for asylum in UK since 2013

Most of the applications were made after the Indians arrived in the UK, indicating that they may have travelled on valid visas and applied for asylum later.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2018 17:28 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Indian citizens,asylum,United Kingdom
In 2017, Indian nationals were granted the second highest number of visitor visas (after China), up 11% to 433,852.(File photo)

As many as 5,500 Indian citizens applied for asylum in the United Kingdom over the last five years, new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday have revealed.

Most of the applications were made after the Indians arrived in the UK, indicating that they may have travelled on valid visas and applied for asylum later. Less than 5% of the applications were made at UK ports on arrival.

There are 285 Indian citizens lodged in various jails in the UK for various offences, which includes 251 males and 34 females. Since 2013, 2,775 Indians were refused entry into the UK at ports and subsequently deported.

The figures also reveal that since 2014, 22,175 Indians who did not have the right to remain in the UK voluntarily returned. The Home Office has schemes to provide financial help to those volunteering to return to their home countries.

Since 2008, when the Tier I Investors Visa was introduced, 74 Indian millionaires with 100 dependents migrated to the UK. Until November 2014, the minimum investment required under the category was £1 million, later increased to £2 million after a committee found that the threshold was not bringing enough benefits to the British economy.

In 2017, Indian nationals were granted the second highest number of visitor visas (after China), up 11% to 433,852, the figures revealed. Chinese and Indian nationals alone accounted for 46% of all visitor visas granted.

Three countries — China, the US and India — accounted for 53% of the 223,536 study-related visas granted in 2017, with the largest number going to Chinese nationals (88,456 or 40% of the total).

The ONS said there were notable increases in the number of study-related visas granted to Chinese nationals (up 15% to 88,456) and Indian nationals (up 28% to 14,445).

The figures also reveal that migration from within the European Union has been falling after the 2016 Brexit vote.

Nicola White, head of international migration statistics, said: “Looking at the underlying numbers we can see that EU net migration has fallen as fewer EU citizens are arriving, especially those coming to look for work in the UK, and the number leaving has risen.

“Brexit could well be a factor in people’s decision to move to or from the UK, but people’s decision to migrate is complicated and can be influenced by lots of different reasons.”

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 17:28 IST