The number of Indian nationals arriving in the UK by small boats has surged in the first quarter of 2023, making them the second-largest nationality to cross the Channel in this way, according to data from the Home Office.
Between January and March, 675 Indian nationals arrived by small boat, compared to 683 in the whole of 2022. A Home Office source suggested that the surge could be related to efforts to avoid work visa restrictions and that many of those arriving were seeking illegal work in the UK. By contrast, the number of Albanians arriving by small boat fell to 29 in the first quarter of this year, following predictions of a winter drop in numbers.
According to Home Office data, Indian nationals are now the second-largest group to cross the Channel by small boat, with 675 arriving between January and March. This is believed to be a result of a surge in attempts to evade work visa restrictions.
Last year, only 683 Indians arrived by small boat in total. The number of Albanians reaching Britain by small boat has fallen to 29 during the first three months of this year compared to 1,100 in the previous quarter. However, the backlog of asylum cases has yet to be cleared despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge in December to abolish 92,000 ‘legacy’ applications by the end of this year.
The system contained 80,148 cases at the end of March. Immigration minister Robert Jenrick will give a speech today in which he will describe the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill as the most significant piece of immigration legislation of modern times.
According to data from the Home Office, Indians have now become the second-largest group to cross the Channel by small boats this year, surpassing Albanians. Immigration experts say that Indian migrants are using this route as a means to enter the UK illegally and find work.
In the first quarter of 2023, 675 Indian migrants crossed the Channel, almost the same as the total number for all of 2022. The total number of Albanian migrants, on the other hand, fell to 29 in the same period, attributed to their usual decline in winter and the government’s fast-track deportation process. Afghans remain the largest group, with 909 crossings in the first quarter of this year, primarily as asylum seekers.
An immigration source has claimed that small boat crossings into the UK have become an established and reliable route for those seeking to live and work in the UK illegally. The source suggests that it is likely that more people will attempt to cross the channel from countries that have not previously produced refugees.
Experts believe that Serbia’s visa-free travel rules for Indians have contributed to the increase in numbers, with some Indian nationals entering Serbia before making their way to the UK. The cost of a small boat journey is now said to average around £3,500, although some are reportedly offered more cheaply.
This year, two Indian nationals who had crossed multiple European countries before arriving in Dunkirk spoke to The Telegraph. Despite expressing their fears about crossing the channel, they said they had paid thousands of pounds to get this far and would take their chances in the UK rather than staying in the refugee camp.
According to Home Office data, Indians have surpassed Albanians to become the second largest group to cross the English Channel in small boats so far this year. Immigration experts believe that Indians who want to live and work illegally in the UK are using Channel crossings as a well-established route into the country for economic migrants.
The number of Indians detected crossing the Channel in small boats has surged to 675 in the first quarter of this year, which is almost the same as the total of 683 Indians who crossed the Channel during the whole of last year. Serbia’s visa-free travel rules for Indians and the lower cost of small boat journeys have provided easier access to Europe.
The proposed Illegal Migration Bill lists India as a safe country to which migrants can be returned. The next largest groups after Indians were Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Eritrea. On Saturday, a new daily record for the year was set with 497 migrants crossing the Channel in 11 boats. The UK government expects another surge of Albanian migrants to attempt to cross the Channel in small boats during the summer months.