Indian nationals have received one-fourth of all visas issued by the United Kingdom in 2022, according to the British government.
“Last year, the UK issued 28,36,490 visas, out of which 25% went to India, more than to any other country,” said Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India.
In a tweet, Ellis noted that Indian nationals got the most proportion of visit visas, the most work visas (up 130 per cent from the year 2021), and the most student visas (up by 73 per cent) in 2022. (30 per cent of the total visitor visas granted).
In terms of visitor visas, according to information published by the UK government, Indian nationals have surpassed Chinese nationals, who were in the lead in this category before the pandemic, accounting for 27% of visas issued in 2019, but have fallen to 5% in 2022.
Nigeria (7%) is in the top five nationalities applying for visitor visas after India, South Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey (six per cent each).
The list was compiled from those nations whose nationals must obtain a visa in order to enter the UK. For instance, American residents can go to the UK without a visa, so the actual number of arrivals in the UK may be more.
According to information provided by the UK government, out of the approximately 2.836 million visas granted by the country in 2022, 49% were visitor visas, 22% under study routes, 15% under work routes, 3% for family reasons, and 11% for other reasons.
The UK issued up to 1.399 million visitor visas in 2022, with Chinese and Russian travellers experiencing the biggest drops from 2019. The decline in visitor visa applications, particularly from Chinese, Russian, and Saudi nationals (89%, 76%, and 75% correspondingly fall in comparison to 2019), is the main cause of the decline in visas granted.
Tuesday marked the start of the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme, under which 2,400 visas would be made available to qualified Indians in the first round. The programme permits Indian nationals between the ages of 18 and 30 to reside and work in the UK for a maximum of two years. In the meantime, PTI reported that the Indian High Commission in London began accepting YPS applications from UK citizens on Tuesday.
Indian and British nationals between the ages of 18 and 30 may apply to live and work in either country for a period of up to two years under the reciprocal arrangement approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British colleague Rishi Sunak at the G20 conference in Bali last November.
Applications for the Young Professionals Visa Scheme are being accepted by the government from February 28. The application deadline is March 2 at 2:29 p.m. (IST). The British High Commission in New Delhi said, “This is an excellent opportunity for India’s brightest young people between the ages of 18-30 to experience the best of the UK,” as it revealed the specific eligibility requirements for the new programme, according to PTI.
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