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India accounts for largest share of UK study visas

New figures from the Home Office show a significant increase in Indian students being issued student visas for the UK.

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UK top destination for Indian students

Over the past year, almost 118,000 Indian students have received a student visa. This is an increase of 89 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

The large rise means India now accounts for the largest nationality being granted sponsored study visas – overtaking China. Overall, students of Indian and Chinese nationality now comprise 48 per cent of all sponsored study visas granted by the UK.

Boost in visitors post-pandemic

According to the UK government data, there have also been close to 103,000 work visas issued to both skilled and seasonal workers coming from India. This is an increase of 148 per cent over the year, with Indian nationals now making up nearly 50 per cent of all UK skilled work visas.

The UK as a holiday destination has also proved popular for Indian tourists with a sharp rise in visitor visas being approved. Home Office figures show more than a quarter of a million Indian nationals were issued with visitor visas in the 12 months to June 2022. This was up 630 per cent compared to June 2021, however, this is an inaccurate comparison as Covid-19 travel restrictions were in force during that time.

“Unprecedented demand for visas”

“I’m delighted that Indian nationals were issued the largest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year. More strength to the unique living bridge that connects our people,” said Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India.

He added: “As this shows, we’re experiencing unprecedented demand for visas. I encourage students starting courses soon to apply as early as possible.”

India nationals looking to work overseas may further benefit from a new visa launched to attract the world’s leading talent in a number of technical fields. The UK government believes the new Scale-up visa will allow more UK-based companies to recruit leading scientists, engineers, architects, programmers, and other skilled professionals from across the world.

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