Indian nationals secured almost 60% of the Tier 2 skilled worker visas granted by the UK in the year ending September 2016, despite UK visa numbers falling to their lowest level since 2014. Employers need to have both a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and a Certificate of Sponsorship for each employee they need to employ on Tier 2 Visas. The figures were released by the UK government on 23 February.
The quarterly Migration Statistics report, 53,575 of the 93,244 skilled worker visa applications that were approved, went to Indians. Meanwhile, Indian and Chinese nationals accounted for the highest number of non-visitor visas granted. Tier 2 Visa UK skilled work visa category. The next largest group were US citizens, accounting for 9,348 or 10% of the total number of Tier 2 visas granted.
42% of skilled worker tier 2 visa applications made by Indians were sponsored by companies from the UK’s information technology sector, closely followed by professional, scientific and technical activities (19%) and financial and insurance activities (12%),
Indians also represent the biggest group among skilled worker visa holders in Britain who had been granted settlement (also known as permanent residence) based on five years in the UK in 2010.
From this group of skilled Indian nationals from 2010, 32% were granted settlement while a further 12% were approved for further leave to remain in the UK.
In 2016, the estimate for UK immigration numbers was 596,000. In contrast, the estimate was 619,000 a year earlier. The 2016 estimate was the lowest since June 2014. Meanwhile, the number of foreign students arriving in the UK continued to fall. In 2016, 134,000 entered Britain compared with 175,000 a year earlier.
According to the quarterly Migration Statistics report, 76,225 (39%) of the 194,608 student visas issued by the UK were granted to Chinese nationals in 2016, while Americans accounted for 13,701 and Indians 10,798.