Highlights: India holds first position in UK’s Skilled Worker and Student Visas
- Indians are leading in UK’s skilled worker and student visas.
- In March 2023, 41% of grants under the Graduate post-study work route.
- Skilled worker visas for Indians increased by 63%, while healthcare visas saw a remarkable 105% surge.
- The number of dependants for Indians rose from 22,598 to 42,381 in the March 2023.
- The UK witnessed record-high net migration of 606,000, in 2022.
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Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Visas
Indian nationals have emerged as the top nationality of student visas and skilled workers in the United Kingdom, according to immigration records released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Home Office.
The data reveals that Indians accounted for the highest number of visas issued in various categories, including healthcare visas and the new Graduate post-study work route.
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Skilled Worker Visas
Indians accounted for 33% of grants in the ‘Worker’ category, making them the leading nationality in this sector. In the ‘Skilled Worker’ and ‘Skilled Worker – Health and Care’ visa categories, Indian nationals significantly outnumbered applicants from other countries, emphasizing their importance in filling staff shortages within the National Health Service (NHS).
The number of skilled worker visas provided to Indians witnessed a substantial increase of 63% from the previous year, rising from 13,390 in the year 2021-22 to 21,837 in the year 2022-23. Healthcare visas showed an even more substantial increase for Indians, with a 105% raised to 29,726.
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Indian nationals dominate student visas under the new Graduate post-study work route, accounting for 41% of grants. At the end of the year (March 2023), 138,532 sponsored study visas were issued to Indian nationals, marking a significant 63% increase from the previous year.
However, concerns have emerged regarding dependents and overall migration. The UK government introduced restrictions on family dependents accompanying international students, limited to PhD-level students, to manage high net migration figures, which reached a record 606,000 last year, mainly driven by non-European Union nationals.
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Calls for Immigration Reforms and Looking Ahead
Experts and lawmakers criticize including international students in net migration figures, causing unnecessary fear. They argue that most international students return home after their studies. The UK should follow the US and Australia in treating them as temporary migrants, excluding them from net migration statistics.
Indian nationals make significant contributions as skilled workers and students in the UK. However, government restrictions on family dependents and efforts to reduce net migration may spark calls for immigration reforms within the Conservative Party. Striking a balance between immigration controls and attracting international talent remains a topic of debate.
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Web Story: India ranks #1 in UK’s Skilled Worker and Student Visas!