LONDON: Indian nationals accounted for the largest number of migrants being granted skilled visas to work in the UK in the last year, latest statistics said today.
Indian nationals accounted for 57 per cent of total skilled work visas granted, which adds up to 52,109 of the total 91,833, with Americans the next largest nationality group at 9,981 or 11 per cent of the total, the UK’s Office of National Statistics data said.
“Trends in visa numbers reflect both changes to the immigration rules and the prevalent economic environment.
Asian nationals accounted for 298,231 (56 per cent) of the 531,375 longer-term visas granted in YE March 2016, with China and India accounting for 17 per cent and 16 per cent of the total respectively.
“The third largest number granted went to US nationals, who comprised less than 7 per cent of the total,” an ONS statement said.
Indian skilled professionals also topped the number of National Insurance registrations – 34,000 – issued during the year.
National Insurance numbers indicate all workers in employment or self-employment in Britain and is a compulsory requirement in the UK.
Indians are also in the top three countries to be granted study visas by the UK in the ‘Migration Statistics Quarterly Report’ reflecting data until December 2015.
Indians were granted 10,705 study visas, placing it third after China with 70,515 and the US with 13,970.
Overall, net UK long-term international migration, which reflects someone who changes their country of usual residence for 12 months or more, in the year ending December 2015 was estimated to be 333,000, up 20,000 from the year ending December 2014.
The figure for EU-only net migration was 184,000, reflecting a record high which is likely to be used by those in favour of Britain’s exit, or Brexit, from the European Union (EU) to stem the free movement of EU nationals into the country.