Hyderabad: Indian nationals accounted for half of all Tier-2 visas granted globally by the United Kingdom (UK). According to the latest UK Immigration Statistics, over 56,000 Indians received skilled work visas between October 2018 and September 2019. The report, which was released on November 28, gives the latest details about immigrants who moved to the UK over the past year.

The Tier-2 visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers migrating to Britain to take up employment. Usually, skilled worker jobs in the UK pay a salary of at least £20,800 per annum (which amounts to around 19 lakh in Indian currency) for “new entrants” and £30,000 for “experienced workers”.

The study also estimated that more than one in five of all UK visas goes to Indian nationals and 90% of Indian applications are successful, which is above the global average. Overall, the increase in work visas issued by the UK in the latest year until September 2019 was driven by Skilled (Tier-2) work visas, which has increased by 12% to 111,035. The Skilled (Tier-2) category accounts for 59% of work-related visas granted irrespective of nationality. It is the highest number in work visas issued after the country introduced the new immigration system, also known as ‘the points-based system’ (PBS) in 2008.

A 63% increase in Indian student visas

Over 30,000 Indian students received study visas (Tier-4 visas) until September 2019, which is an increase from almost 19,000 visas in the previous year. The 63% increase year-on-year is nearly four times as fast as the global rate of student visas.

Indian students come second only to Chinese students in study visa applications to the UK. Chinese and Indian nationals account for over half of all Tier-4 study visas granted (43% and 11% respectively) in the country. Globally, there were 276,889 sponsored study (Tier-4) visas granted including dependants, a 16% increase of 37,510 more than the previous year, and the highest level since 2011.

The majority (86%) of those applying to come to the UK on a sponsored study visa applied to study at higher education (university) institutions. In the year, ending in September 2019, sponsored study visa applications for the higher education (university) sector increased by 14% to 222,047 — the highest level on record.

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