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Indian students ‘outnumber’ Chinese in UK; Detailed report

According to the country’s official immigration figures, which were revealed on Thursday, Indian students have now surpassed Chinese students as the largest group of international students studying in the UK. This is the first time this has happened.

Indians continue to be the most common nationality given visas in the skilled worker category, according to UK Home Office data compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with 56,042 work visas issued in the previous year. In addition, Indian citizens received the most visas (36% of the total) under the specially designed Skilled Worker Health and Care visa, which is intended for medical professionals, highlighting their commitment to the publicly financed National Health Service (NHS).

‘There were 127,731 [study visa] grants to main applicant Indian nationals in the year ending September 2022, an increase of 93,470 (273 per cent) compared to 2019 (34,261),’ the Home Office said. ‘Chinese nationals were the second most common nationality granted sponsored study visas in the year ending September 2022, with 116,476 visas granted to main applicants, 2 per cent fewer than the number seen in 2019 (119,231),’ it said.

Indians accounted for 41% of all visas issued under the new Graduate Route visa, which was introduced in July of last year and gives international students the opportunity to continue working after receiving their degree. The exclusive High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, introduced in May of this year to entice the best graduates from the world’s top universities to work in the UK, also saw a 14% grant to Indian nationals despite no Indian university being on the approved set of top global universities.

The statistics demonstrate that study visas for nationals of India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are now more than three times higher than they were in 2019. This is thought to be a significant contributing factor to the UK’s immigration figures reaching record highs over the previous year. According to the overall ONS data, there was an increase in net migration to the UK after Brexit, going from 173,000 in the year ending in June 2021 to 504,000 in the following year.

The ‘record levels of long-term immigration’ are attributed to the lifting of lockdown limitations, the first complete statistical period after the transition since Brexit, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the resettling of Afghans, and a new visa route for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas). ‘ In the 12 months leading up to June 2022, a number of global events had an influence on international migration trends. These together were unparalleled, ‘ said Jay Lindop, director of the ONS’s Center for International Migration. ‘ This increase is being caused by migration from non-EU countries, particularly students. After the travel restrictions were lifted in 2021, more students who had been studying remotely during the coronavirus epidemic came in the UK ‘, she said.

‘But there has also been a significant rise in the number of persons travelling for a variety of other causes. This includes those entering for familial or humanitarian reasons, such as those from Ukraine ‘, she continued. It is still too early to predict if this trend will continue because of the numerous, unrelated factors that are now influencing migration, continued Lindop. The figures will be of concern to the Conservative Party-led administration, which has a manifesto goal to limit migration ‘overall,’┬ásomething UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman has reaffirmed in recent weeks and months.


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