The 40% Indian hike does not come near the 2010-11 high but will be welcome news for UK ministers and stakeholders striving to manage negative perceptions in India.
For the first time after an over-50% cut in the number of Indian students coming to the UK since visa curbs were introduced in 2012, immigration officials have noted a 40 percent rise in their number in the year ending March 2019, new figures show.
The perception that the United Kingdom is less welcoming to international students, particularly due to the closure of the post-study work visa in 2012, prompted a progressive year-wise decline of Indian students from the high of 39,090 in 2010-2011 to 16,550 in 2016-17.
The figures released by the Home Office show that Tier 4 (student) visas registered a “notable” increase for India: up 40% to 21,165 in the year ending March 2019. The figure was 15,161 in the year ending March 2018.
“There were continuing and notable increases in the number of Tier 4 visas granted to Chinese nationals (up 13% to 100,057) and Indian nationals (up 40% to 21,165); this is the largest number of grants to Indian students since the year ending March 2012”, it said.
The 40% Indian hike does not come near the 2010-11 high but will be welcome news for UK ministers and stakeholders striving to manage negative perceptions in India. Chinese and Indian nationals accounted for half of all students visas.
Indian professionals (who account for 53% of all Tier 2 work visas granted) also saw the largest increase in grants, up 5,360 (or 10%) compared to the previous year, the figures show, reflecting continuing demand from UK employers for their skills.
The number of visitor visas for Indian citizens during the year was also up 12 percent to 492,544, reflecting growing tourist traffic from India. Chinese and Indian nationals together accounted for just under half (48%) of all visitor visas granted.
Few Indian citizens who applied for asylum were successful: of 1,300 applications (86 made at UK ports and 1,214 in-country), total initial decisions were made in 561 cases, 543 were refused and only 18 granted.
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