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Indian nationals bag top spot on UK's skilled worker, student visa tally

According to the data released, net migration in 2022 reached a record high of 606,000, adding pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who vowed to bring the numbers down

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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Official immigration data from the UK on Thursday revealed that Indians bagged the top spot on the skilled worker tally along with the student visas issued over last year. 

According to an Economic Times report, the data was collated by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) by the UK Home Office, which showed that Indians ranked as the top nationality for cross-sector skilled work, which included healthcare visas aimed at filling staff shortages in the National Health Service (NHS).

According to the data released, net migration in 2022 reached a record high of 606,000, adding pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who vowed to bring the numbers down.

The increase in the numbers was driven by nationals from non-European countries, including refugees under the British government's Ukraine visa schemes and people migrating for work and education, the report added.

The report also said that Indian nationals also contributed the highest number of students who were granted visas under the new graduate post-study work route, representing 41 per cent of grants.

Citing an analysis from the UK Home Office, the report said, "Indian nationals were the top nationality for visas in the 'Worker' category, representing one-third (33 per cent) of grants, and were by far the top nationality for both the 'Skilled Worker' and 'Skilled Worker - Health and Care' visas."

According to the data released, "Nigeria had the highest number of dependants (66,796) of sponsored study visa holders in the year ending March 2023, increasing from 27,137 in the year ending March 2022. Indian nationals had the second highest number of dependants, increasing from 22,598 to 42,381."

The official data comes a day after the UK government decided to disallow many international students to bring their families along with them as dependants. The government only decided to allow PhD students to bring their dependents along. 

In the year ending March 2023, a total of 138,532 sponsored study visa grants to Indian nationals. which was an increase of 63 per cent as compared to the last year. 

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First Published: May 25 2023 | 8:53 PM IST

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