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Source : Times Of India Date : Feb 28, 2020

Also, Desis Got 50% Of Skilled Visas In 2019

The number of Indian applicants to obtain visas to study in Britain shot up by 93% in 2019 even though the popular two-year poststudy work visa scheme is yet to restart. According to the UK Immigration Statistics published on Thursday, 37,540 Indian students received a Tier 4 (study) visa in 2019, which is a 93% increase from 2018 when 19,497 visas were granted. This continues the strong upward trend in student visa numbers since 2016.

Indians are now the second most common nationality granted Tier 4 (study) visas after Chinese and the fastest growing nationality for student visas in Britain. Chinese nationals received the most Tier 4 visas in 2019 at 119, 972, accounting for 42% of the total.

The 2019 figure is the largest number of visas given to Indian students since 2011 when Theresa May, then home secretary, abolished the two-year post-study work visa, leading to a 55% drop in Indian student numbers coming to Britain, from 51,218 in 2010-2011to 22,757 in 2011-2012.

In September last year, UK PM Boris Johnson announced that the two-year post study work visa would be reintroduced from the summer of 2021. It will allow international graduates to stay in the UK to work or look for work after they finish their studies. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work visa routes once they have found a suitable job.

Indians also now account for half of all skilled work visas granted in the UK. Out of 113,958 Tier 2 (skilled work) visas granted in 2019, half of them, namely 57,199, went to Indian nationals in 2019. This was an increase of 3% on the 2018 figure of 55,479.

Almost half (45%) of the total number of Tier 2 visas granted by the UK were intra-company transfer visas.

There was also a notable increase in the number of visitor visas granted to Indian nationals, up 37,516 (8%) to 515,026 in 2019. Chinese and Indian nationals together accounted for just under half (48%) of all visitor visas granted that year. In 2019, 95% of Indian nationals who applied for a UK visa were successful, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

Jan Thompson, acting high commissioner to India, said: "This phenomenal increase in student visa numbers is testament both to the UK's world leading education system and to the exceptional talents of Indian students."

Earlier this month, the UK launched a new points-based immigration system - a new single global system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally, giving top priority to those with the highest skills, including scientists, innovators and academics. The points-based immigration system takes effect from 2021.


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