• Monday, October 02, 2023


Indians make up largest foreign group granted UK work visas

Two-thirds of migrants granted UK work visas in the year to March were Indians. (Representational image: iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

India topped as the nationality of foreign workers granted work visas in the UK in the year to March, official figures revealed as Britain struggles to tackle its labour shortage after Brexit.

One out of three migrants given a British work visa during the period was an Indian, The Times reported, citing HM Revenue & Customs data. Americans, Filipinos, Nigerians and Zimbabweans were the other large groups allowed to work in the UK.

As of December last year, there were 2.55 million employees from outside the European Union in Britain, outnumbering EU-born employees by 220,000 – a change witnessed for the first time since 2010.

In contrast, there were 2.3 million employees from the EU and 1.9 million from outside the 27-nation bloc in 2020 when the UK exited the freedom of movement rules for EU citizens.

The churn in the composition of the overseas workforce was led by the hospitality sector with 740,075 work visas issued to non-EU workers compared to 46,457 for EU citizens.

Migrants from non-EU countries accounted for 152,755 or more than three-fourths of the total 200,362 applications for British citizenship in the year to March. This compared with 47,607 applications from those from the EU who made up just 23 per cent.

The number of workers from the EU had gone sharply with the expansion of the bloc to cover Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and other countries in the 2000s and the issue was a major impetus for the UK’s 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

Many Britons who voted to leave the EU cited high migration and the pressure they said it exerted on public services as the reason for their decision.

Data released in May showed net migration to Britain reached a record 606,000 last year with prime minister Rishi Sunak calling the number “too high”. He previously said he was committed to bringing down the legal immigration levels but did not specify his fresh border control plans.

Eastern Eye

Related Stories

Eastern Eye


Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…