London: The number of skilled work visa applications from Indian nationals to live and work in the UK has dropped by four per cent this year, Home Office said on Thursday, amid the government’s tightening of the visa regime.
The UK Home Office found that Indians accounted for 29,800 sponsored visa application in the year ending June 2017.
The trend is being attributed to the UK government’s tightening of visa regime in an attempt to meet its goal of cutting migrant figures in the country.
“Indian nationals account for 29,800 (54 per cent) of skilled work sponsored visa applications in year ending June 2017, with US nationals the next largest group (5,686 or 10 per cent of the total),” the Home Office said.
“The number of sponsored visa applications for Indian nationals was 4 per cent lower in year ending June 2017 and applications for US nationals were 9 per cent lower,” it said.
However, the data based on the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) analysis also disclosed that Indians continue to account for the largest number of skilled work visas granted by the UK government – 53,366 of a total of 92,805 or 58 per cent of all work visas granted.
Of these, the Indian information technology sector sponsored 42 per cent of all skilled work visa applications made by Indians.
The latest ONS figures released on Thursday also indicate a so-called “Brexodus” — a significant drop in the EU nationals migrating to live and work in the UK in the wake of the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
Net migration – the difference between those entering and leaving the UK – fell by 81,000 to 2,46,000 in the year to March 2017 and more than half that change is due to a decrease in net migration of EU citizens, which is down 51,000.
The ONS figures show a sharp rise of 17,000 in departures of citizens from the so-called EU8 countries — Czech Re-public, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.