Reflecting Brexit reality, new figures released show a rise in the number of visas granted to Indian professionals, visitors, students, and family members, as citizens of the European Union start to wind up their stay in the United Kingdom. Indians were granted the highest number of visitor visas during the year ending September 2018, up 41,224 to 4,68,923. Chinese and Indian nationals alone accounted for just under half of all visit visas granted.
Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show the demand for Indian professionals continued during the year, with 55 per cent of all Tier 2 (skilled) visas granted to them. Number of Indian students coming to study at UK universities also showed a 33 per cent rise, to 18,735. Almost half of all student visas granted during the year have been accounted for by the Chinese and Indians. Family-related visas for Indians also saw an increase up 881 to 3574. The figures showing more EU citizens leaving than arriving in the UK prompted renewed concern over the impact of Brexit.
Net migration from the EU has slumped to a six-year low, while non-EU migration is the highest in over a decade. Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, Madeleine Sumption said, “EU migrants have been leaving in larger numbers since the referendum, and net inflows have greatly decreased. The lower value of the pound is likely to have made the UK a less attractive place to lie and work and economic conditions in several of the top countries of origin for EU migrants have improved.”