"Our most recent figures show a 10% increase in Indian students gaining visas."
More Indian students are choosing the UK for their studies, with more visa applications becoming approved. This is the message Boris Johnson delivered in an interview with Times of India.
Discussing the relationship between the two countries, the UK’s Foreign Minister corrected previous figures on students from India. The interview became published on 23rd October 2017.
With an increase in approved visas from India, the politician said:
“We want the brightest and best Indian students to attend our great universities.”
The interview began with a question solely focusing on visa applications. With Brexit trade deals in mind, Times of India asked how the UK handles the concession of visas.
In addition, they raised the argument that the number of students from India that now live in the UK faced a big decrease. From 40,000 in 2010 to 19,000 in 2016. However, Boris Johnson countered this with new statistics.
Suggesting the number had actually risen, he explained: “Our most recent figures show a 10% increase in Indian students gaining visas – and 91% of these applications are successful.
“More and more [students] and young professionals are choosing to go to the UK to further their ambitions, showing that Britain is open for business.”
The Foreign Minister also attempted to clarify some misunderstandings about UK visa applications. He revealed an increase of more Indians applying to visit and work in the country, suggesting that the UK still holds many employment opportunities. He said:
“This year until June, we gave nearly 500,000 visas to Indians – an eight per cent rise on the previous year. In fact, Britain issues more visas to Indians than any other country in the world, apart from China.”
Boris also added that Indians who apply for a visa have a strong likelihood of it becoming approved. In terms of statistics, he claimed 90% of these applications get granted, while 99% become processed within 15 working days.
Lastly, the politician also revealed that more work visas are issued to India than in other countries. He said that:
“Almost 60,000 work visas were granted to Indian nationals [in 2016], accounting for nearly two-thirds of all the UK work visas issued globally.”
With these new claims by Boris Johnson, it appears the UK government is keen to build on new trade deals with India. During the interview, he even expanded on the close relationship the two countries share and how it could grow.
“Britain and India are the world’s oldest and largest democracies. We cherish the same values and we work together to make the world a better place. One of the reasons why I argued in favour of leaving the EU was that I wanted a Global Britain to strengthen our friendships with countries beyond Europe, particularly India.”
If the UK and India do indeed strength deals between each other, it may mean more opportunities for Indians. According to Boris, more are now once again choosing to go to the UK. Despite some actually returning back to India.
But with visa approval rates increasing, perhaps even more students will embrace the opportunities Britain offers.
Read more of the Times of India interview with Boris Johnson here.