If you're a graduate from an Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Management, now might be the time to apply for a job working in the City of London.
Data released today from the British government reveals that Skilled Worker visas issued to people working in the UK finance and insurance sector were abnormally plentiful in the first quarter of 2022, and were nearly 2.5 times higher than the first quarter of 2021.
2021 was a COVID anomaly, with numbers low due to lockdowns. But in a longer timeframe, 2022 still looks special: this year's finance visas are higher than they've been for over a decade.
The government's figures don't break out the nationalities of individuals applying for skilled worker visas in the finance sector in particular. However, across the British economy as a whole, successful Indian visa applicants have surged this year. - There were 12,117 skilled visas issued to Indian applicants for all UK jobs in Q1 2022, compared to a previous high of 7.7k in 2015. Chinese applicants are tiny by comparison: just 290 Chinese citizens received skilled worker visas in the UK in the first quarter, down from a peak of 483 in 2019. Similarly, only 970 visas recipients came from America, down from 1,490 in 2015.
Skilled worker visas are typically arranged by banks and are available for anyone earning over £30k for a five-year period. Soaring numbers are no coincidence: London's finance sector urgently needs more immigrants after Brexit prevented EU bankers, traders and quants from automatically being able to enter the UK for work from 2020. Early indications are that Indians are the main beneficiaries. - New EU visa recipients are also tiny by comparison.
Today's skilled visa numbers coincide with the introduction of a new "high potential visa" for people who've graduated from top global universities in the past five years, and who want to work in Britain. Listed here, the universities seem pretty random: they include the likes of Stanford University, NYU and Peking, but omit the big French Grandes Ecoles, or the top Indian Universities that appear to be the UK's new favourites.
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