UK immigration stats: Indian student visas up by 93%


This represents the largest number of visas issued to Indian students over the last eight years and continues the strong upward trend in student visa numbers since 2016. Indians are currently the fastest growing nationality for student visas.

Indian nationals also received over 57,000 Tier 2 skilled work visas last year. This accounts for over 50% of all skilled work visas granted globally – meaning more were granted to Indians than the rest of the world combined.

The UK continues to be a popular destination for Indian holidaymakers. More than 515,000 Indian nationals received visit visas last year – an 8% increase compared to the previous year.

In 2019, 95% of Indian nationals who applied for a UK visa were successful, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said:

This phenomenal increase in student visa numbers is testament both to the UK’s world leading education system and to the exceptional talents of Indian students. We couldn’t be prouder that the best and brightest continue to pick the UK, making the living bridge between our countries stronger each day.

Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council, said:

It is exciting to see so many Indian students trusting the UK as the destination for their education and furthering their careers. This bodes very well for both countries’ continued focus on realising their knowledge ambitions in a fast changing world.

These statistics follow a series of visa policy announcements by the UK, including the establishment of a new Graduate route (allowing eligible students to stay in the UK for two years post study) and the introduction of a new points-based immigration system.

Further Information

  • All figures in the Q4 2019 report relate to the year January 2019 to December 2019. The full statistical release can be found online on the website here: student visas, visit visas, skilled work visas.

  • Migration statistics are updated quarterly to provide insight into UK visa trends. Upcoming releases will cover a 12-month period in the following format:
    • Q1 2020: April 2019 – March 2020 (released May 2020)
    • Q2 2020: July 2019 – June 2020 (released August 2020)
    • Q3 2020: October 2019 – September 2020 (released November 2020)
    • Q4 2020: January 2020 – December 2020 (released February 2021)
  • The new Graduate route, announced last year, will allow eligible international students – including those from India – to stay in the UK for two years after completing their studies to work or look for work. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job. It will be introduced from the summer of 2021.

  • Earlier this month, the UK launched a new Points-Based Immigration System – a new single global system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally, giving top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, innovators and academics. For more on the new immigration system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, click here.


For media queries, please contact:

Sally Hedley, Head of Communications
Press and Communications, British High Commission
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
Tel: 24192100; Fax: 24192400

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