Indian visitors and tourist numbers saw strong growth in 2018. Visit visas increased by 10% to almost 477,000. More than 1 in 5 (22%) of all UK visit visas in 2018 were granted to Indian nationals. The number of student visas issued to Indians has also reached the highest level since 2011, according to the latest quarterly report on Immigration Statistics published by the UK Home Office. Just over 19,500 Indian nationals were granted a tier 4 student visa in the year ending December 2018. This was a 35 per cent increase on the previous year – the highest total in a single year since 2011. 2018 was a second year of significant increases in this category – meaning Indian student numbers are now over 70 per cent higher as compared to just two years earlier in 2016.
Indian workers continue to receive more skilled work visas than the rest of the world combined – India is responsible for 54% of all skilled work visas granted globally. Over 55,000 skilled work visas were granted to Indian nationals last year – more than six per cent higher than in 2017 and the largest increase in numbers for any country.
The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said, “These latest figures show yet another major increase in the number of visas granted to Indian nationals. I particularly welcome the strong increases in work and student visas for Indian nationals in 2018. Almost 19,500 Indian students received a Tier 4 visa last year – a 35% increase and follows a 27% increase in 2017. Likewise, skilled workers from India in 2018 increased at the fastest rate for any country, showing the UK is open to skilled labour and Indian business. We still issue more skilled work visas to Indians than to the rest of the world combined. This is fantastic news for the UK-India relationship and shows that the UK continues to be a welcoming place for Indians to work, study and vacation. Each visa helps strengthen the living bridge between our two countries bringing us closer together and making both our countries stronger. I look forward to working with the Government of India to see this impressive record continue.” All stats relate to the year January to December 2018, and are compared with the year from January to December 2017.