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More Indians got UK visas in 2018, after Chinese, shows new report

As the number of EU citizens moving to the UK dwindles due to uncertainty over Brexit, new figures released on Thursday show more Indian citizens were granted visas across various streams during the year ending December 2018.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2019 17:01 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
As the number of EU citizens moving to the UK dwindles due to uncertainty over Brexit, new figures released on Thursday show more Indian citizens were granted visas across various streams during the year ending December 2018.
As the number of EU citizens moving to the UK dwindles due to uncertainty over Brexit, new figures released on Thursday show more Indian citizens were granted visas across various streams during the year ending December 2018.(AFP)
         

As the number of EU citizens moving to the UK dwindles due to uncertainty over Brexit, new figures released on Thursday show more Indian citizens were granted visas across various streams during the year ending December 2018.

The demand for Indian professionals in various sectors — doctors, information technology, academics — continued. The figures show that 54% of all tier 2 visas were granted to Indian citizens — the largest increase, up 3,023 (or 6%) compared to the previous year.

Figures released by the Home Office show that Indians were given the second highest number of visitor visas after the Chinese, accounting for 477,560 visas, or up by 43,771 (10%) over the previous year, reflecting the growing number of Indians coming to the UK.

The figures substantiate those released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in January, showing an increase in the number of Indian students coming to the UK, for the first time after a progressive fall since 2010.

The Home Office said: “There were notable increases in the number of tier 4 (sponsored study) visas granted to Chinese nationals (up 13% to 99,723) and Indian nationals (up 35% to 19,505); this is the largest number of grants to Indian students since 2011.”

“Chinese and Indian nationals together accounted for just under half (41% and 8% respectively) of all tier 4 visas granted,” it added.

Indians also accounted for a 35% rise in the number of family permits granted to citizens of the European Union, who have a right to move and live in the UK. The figures show a 35% rise, “driven by a rise in grants to Indian nationals (up 3,769 to 8,747)”.

Jay Lindop of the Centre for International Migration at the Office for National Statistics, said: “Different patterns for EU and non-EU migration have emerged since mid-2016, when the EU referendum vote took place. EU net migration, while still adding to the population as a whole, has fallen to a level last seen in 2009.

Non-EU net migration was the highest since 2004. This follows a gradual increase in immigration of non-EU citizens over the past five years for both work and study, particularly from India and China.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 17:01 IST