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UK work visa for Indians in health sector record 157% increase

Despite all the apprehension around possible visa curbs in the United Kingdom, a record-breaking 321,000 visas granted to migrant workers for employment until June in a bid to tackle the labour shortage in the country.

The figures strongly indicates the UK’s continued reliance on foreign labor post-Brexit, with a 45% rise in work visas issued compared to the previous year.

Notably, 121,290 visas were for “health and care” roles, marking a 157% increase. The National Health Service and care sector faced staffing challenges, predominantly hiring Indian and Nigerian nationals.

In fact, to counter over a million job vacancies, the government expanded the shortage occupation list, simplifying visa rules for importing workers.

Student visa category sees a significant surge
Meanwhile a notable surge is also seen in student visa category. The UK Home Office data reveals a 54% spike in the issuance of sponsored study visas to Indians, reaching a total of 142,848 visas granted. This surge is a substantial increase of 49,883 visas in comparison to the year ending June 2022, an Economic Times report.

Impressively, this figure stands sevenfold higher than the corresponding period in 2019. The broader spectrum shows that the UK issued almost 500,000 sponsored study visas in June 2023, marking a 23% rise from the prior year. Indians accounted for nearly one-third of these visas, while around 154,000 were granted to students’ dependents.

The future trends…
However, a check on immigration is still a reality given soaring numbers of migrants have become a political headache for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In 2022, net migration hit a record 606,000.

Talking on the trends, Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, told Bloomberg, “The big picture is that the post-Brexit migration system continues to drive two shifts; from EU to non-EU migration; and from sectors which benefited from free movement, to sectors where workers qualify under the new system.”

“Overall, this means migration is likely to be higher skilled and higher paid; but also less flexible, market-oriented and responsive to demand. The longer-term impact on the health of the UK economy remains uncertain.” LiveMint

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