A Closer Look at the 2023 UK Immigration Landscape: Indians Leading the Way

May 29, 2024

For one, Indians became the largest group of immigrants in Britain in the year 2023, a notable achievement in the sphere of immigration to the United Kingdom. The latest figures released by the UK Office of National Statistics indicate that 250,000 Indians emigrated to the United Kingdom in the last year. This increases the changes in the trends of immigration and the relatively desire for people to work, learn and do other activities in the UK.

Distribution of Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom

⦁        Work: Employment was a reason that 127,000 people came to the UK.
⦁        Study: 115,000 came for the express purpose of continuing education.
⦁        Other Reasons: Another 9,000 immigrated for other reasons.

This breakdown shows that there are many reasons that make Indian nationals to migrate to the UK, but work and education are the major reason.

Changes in the Pattern of Immigration to UK

Indians however collectively the net migration to the UK was recorded to have reduced by 10% in the year 2023 to 685,000 from the previous 764,000 in the year 2022. This is especially so given that presently 85% of immigrants to the UK are non-EU nationals and yet their numbers are decreasing. This represents a dramatic shift from before 2021, when EU nationals dominated the stock of long-term immigrants in the UK.

Using Employment as the Primary Indicator

Another trend that has been observed in the UK immigration rates is Immigration from non-EU countries majorly for working purposes and not education. In 2023, 423000 non-EU nationals came for employment purpose and this was 53 % higher than the number recorded in the previous year, 277000. This is indicative of the fact that more organizations in the United Kingdom are seeking international talent especially in the health and care fields.

Dependants and Work Visas

The long-term work visa has also been a reason for an increase in the dependants coming in as well. Dependants on work visas in 2023 received 279,131 visas of which it has been observed that there has been a growth rate of 80% higher than the previous year. Among them 203 452 were dependants of health and care workers. The Home Office stated that in 2023 work visas were granted to 337, 240 main applicants, including 146,477 health and care visa, representing a 91% rise from 76,724 the previous year.
Indian people received the highest numbers of care worker visas, with 18,664 issued in 2023. Moreover, Indian candidates constitute over half of the nurse visas with 11,322, which underpins the importance of qualified Indian professionals to the UK healthcare system.

Education and Study Visas

For Graduate visas, the main applicants in 2023 were issued 114,409 visas for education, and among them 50,053 were Indians. Even for the study visa, the highest number was recorded for the Indians. Nonetheless, data obtained from the Home Office reveals a trend of diminishing study visas for Indians in recent years. For instance, across the year ending March 2024, 21,800 fewer Indians were arriving in the United Kingdom for a master’s degree as compared to the prior year. This decline can be attributed to changes in the policies of some countries that have limited study visas, the result being a general change in the policies regarding study visas.



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