Representational image (iStock)

INDIAN nationals received over 57,000 Tier 2 skilled work visas in 2019, stated the UK Immigration Statistics published on Thursday (27).

This accounts for over 50% of all skilled work visas granted globally – meaning more were granted to Indians than the rest of the world combined, the report said.

In 2019, 95% of Indian nationals who applied for a UK visa were successful, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

Over 37,500 Indian students received a Tier 4 (study) visa last year, a 93% increase from the previous year,

This represents the largest number of visas issued to Indian students over the last eight years and continues the strong upward trend in student visa numbers since 2016.

Indians are currently the fastest-growing nationality for student visas, it said.

The UK continues to be a popular destination for Indian holidaymakers. More than 515,000 Indian nationals received visit visas last year – an 8% increase compared to 2018.

Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: “This phenomenal increase in student visa numbers is testament both to the UK’s world-leading education system and to the exceptional talents of Indian students. We couldn’t be prouder that the best and brightest continue to pick the UK, making the living bridge between our countries stronger each day.”

Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council, said: “It is exciting to see so many Indian students trusting the UK as the destination for their education and furthering their careers. This bodes very well for both countries’ continued focus on realising their knowledge ambitions in a fast-changing world.”

These statistics follow a series of visa policy announcements by the UK, including the establishment of a new Graduate route (allowing eligible students to stay in the UK for two years post-study) and the introduction of a new points-based immigration system.