On 18 October 2022, the British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said that we are on track to process UK visa applications from India within our standard of 15 days.
The UK, like many other countries, is grappling with an immigration backlog, with a huge increase in demand for travel following the pandemic. In such a situation, thousands of students, workers and tourists have been forced to reschedule their travel due to immigration backlog.
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted, “We are on our way back to India to process the Great Britain #visa applications within a standard 15 days.
Alex Ellis further wrote that “The good news is that we are now back on track. We are seeing a huge increase in demand for student visas, up 89 percent from last year. We are closing skilled worker visa very fast and now we are focusing on visitor visa, to get them back within 15 days.
Ellis said there has been an 89 percent increase in the number of Indian students compared to last year and that skilled worker visas are being processed faster, with a focus on improving visitor visa processing times.
New UK immigration statistics published in August shows that around 118,000 Indian students received student visas in the year ending June 2022 – an 89 per cent increase this year compared to the previous year.
India has now overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK.
Ellis added, “We are doing this through the collective effort of our teams in Delhi, the UK and around the world. I am happy to say, I think we are on track now.”
He also noted that the UK has good availability at visa application centers and urged applicants to apply for a visa first. He also advised the applicants to provide the information as requested.
Ellis also said that “Make sure you provide the information requested, not just the information you wish to provide. And together, I think we can reach the 15-day work service standard by the end of this year. That’s my aim. So, the good news, we are on track and I think we can be fine in the next few weeks.
The UK continues to be a popular destination for Indian holidays as well. Indian nationals accounted for the highest proportion (28 percent) of visitor visas granted.
Over 258,000 Indian nationals received visit visas at the end of June 2022. An increase of 630 percent has been observed over the previous year (when travel restrictions were still in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Indian nationals also received about 103,000 work visas (which include skilled and seasonal workers) at the end of June 2022. This year has seen an increase of 148 percent as compared to the previous year. Indian nationals remain the top nationality of skilled worker visas, accounting for 46 percent of all skilled work visas granted globally.