Indian nationals were granted the highest number of all work-related extensions during the year: 43% of the total, reflecting the higher proportion of Tier 2 visas issued to Indian nationals.
New migration figures released on Thursday show major increase in the number of Indians granted student visas, British nationality and work-related visas – but also reveal that Indians top the list those returning voluntarily to their home countries.
India is now the most common non-UK country of birth of British citizens (863,000), displacing Poland (818,000), which topped the list since 2015, the figures from the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics for the year ending March 2020 show.
The top non-EU nationalities being granted British citizenship during the year were Indian (15,800), Pakistani (14,043) and Nigerian (9,231) nationals. The largest number of recorded voluntary returns was of Indian nationals (1,635, or 16% of the total).
The figures show a 136% jump in the number of student visas issued to Indians: 49,844; compared to 21,158 in the year ending March 2019. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is uncertain how many of those students will turn up when the academic year begins in September-October.
The 136% rise is the largest number of grants to Indian students since the year ending September 2011, the Home Office said.
Chinese (586,179) and Indian (497,999) nationals together accounted for just under half (46%) of all visitor visas granted during the year. Besides, Indian nationals account for 50% of all Tier 2 (work-related) visas granted, the number of grants increasing by 3% to 58,114.
Of the nationalities that commonly claim asylum in the UK, Libyans (97%) and Syrians (92%) typically have high grant rates, while nationals of India (4%), China (17%) and Bangladesh (18%) typically have low grant rates, the Home Office said.
In figures showing extension of visas issues too Indians figured prominently. The majority (82%) were extensions in Skilled (Tier 2) work categories. Indian nationals were granted the highest number of all work-related extensions during the year: 43% of the total, reflecting the higher proportion of Tier 2 visas issued to Indian nationals.
There were 1,10,489 family-related grants of visa extensions in the year ending March 2020, an 11% increase compared to the previous year. Pakistani, Nigerian and Indian nationals account for two in five (40%) family-related extensions granted over the year.