Indian nationals with Visa grants to study at UK universities have more than doubled over the past year, according to official statistics released this week. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that Indian nationals accounted for 17% of the total 300k study visas granted by the UK Home Office in the year ending March 2020 with the number more than 150% from 2019. The ONS data found that after China, India has been consuming UK’s overseas student arrivals to reflect an increase in the country’s migration stats.

“After a stability period, we are/were seeing migration levels begin to increase in the past 12 months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic. This was being read by monitoring increases in non-EU student arrivals, mainly from China and India,” said Jay Lindop, Director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS.

United Kingdom’s new post-study work visa comes in force from the 2020-21 academic year. It is expected to have a big positive impact on applications from students from India to Britain universities, giving the option of being able to apply for this work visa at the end of a degree course.

The findings match with those of the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which found that amidst an overall spike in university applications for 2020-21, most applicants from India are planning to start a course from the autumn semester, which begins this month.

Indian nationals also accounted for nearly half (48%) of all skilled work visas granted in the year ending June 2020, as per the latest ONS migration data.