If you are a graduate of an Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Management, now may be the time to apply for a position in the City of London.
Data released today by the UK government shows that professional visas issued to people working in the UK finance and insurance sectors were unusually high in the first quarter of 2022, almost 2.5 times higher than in the first quarter of 2021 .
2021 was a COVID anomaly with low numbers due to lockdowns. But in the longer term, 2022 still looks special: This year’s financial visas are the highest in over a decade.
Government figures do not break down the nationalities of those applying for skilled worker visas, particularly in the financial sector. However, across the UK economy, successful Indian visa applicants have risen sharply this year. – In the first quarter of 2022, 12,117 qualified visas were issued to Indian applicants for all jobs in the UK, compared to a previous peak of 7.7,000 in 2015. Chinese applicants are tiny in comparison: only 290 Chinese citizens received a qualified one in the first quarter Work visas in the UK quarter, down from a peak of 483 in 2019. Likewise, only 970 visa recipients were from the Americas, down from 1,490 in 2015.
Skilled worker visas are usually arranged by banks and are available to anyone earning more than £30,000 over a five year period. Rising numbers are no coincidence: London’s financial sector desperately needs more immigrants after Brexit prevented EU bankers, traders and quants from automatically entering the UK to work from 2020. Early indications are that Indians are the main beneficiaries. – New recipients of EU visas are also tiny in comparison.
Today’s figures for skilled worker visas coincide with the launch of a new ‘high potential visa’ for people who have graduated from world-leading universities in the last five years and wish to work in the UK. The universities listed here seem pretty random: they include Stanford University, NYU and Beijing, but leave out the big French grandes écoles or the top Indian universities, which seem to be Britain’s new favourites.
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