The British High Commission recently revealed that the United Kingdom (UK) has issued 1,17,965 sponsored study visas to Indian students in one year till June 2022, which is an increase of 215% compared to 2019 when only 37,396 sponsored study visas were issued.
Also, India is at the top after getting the highest number of sponsored study visas from the UK and has even surpassed China. Why are a large number of students applying for study visas in the UK after the easing of Covid restrictions?
What is the success rate and timeline to get a UK study visa?
The student visa success rate in the UK is almost close to 100%. So most students who apply for study visas to the UK almost get a nod. So for the one year figure of 1.18 lakh student visas till June 2002, the number of applications is also close to that number.
Chitresh Dhawan, owner of Dhawan Educational Consultancy in Amritsar, revealed that the sponsored student visa arrives in just 3-4 weeks, which is the major attraction among the students.
Why are so many students applying for a UK study visa?
The UK is the top draw among Indian students currently. In the first decade of this century, most of the students from India headed for the UK, but by 2006-07 this trend turned towards Australia where every year lakhs of students were going from India till 2011-12 — majority of them from Punjab. Then after a few years, Canada came into the picture and now for the past around a decade Canada is the most preferred destination for international students including students from India.
Even today when a large number of students have started going to the UK, most of them first try for Canada.
The long waits for Canadian visas are creating a lot of doubts and apprehensions among the students and in such cases, they do not want to lose the UK opportunity, said another consultant, adding that a large number of students from Punjab are either facing rejection from Canada or want to fly out early which explains the preference for the UK.
As nearly 40% students are from Punjab among these 1.18 lakh visa holders from India, he added.
“I had applied for Canada last year to get admission in January intake but my visa was rejected without any reason, now I have reapplied again. In case it doesn’t go through, I will go to the UK,” said a student, who is waiting for his visa for the past three months.
A consultant said that the sudden surge in student visa applications to Canada is behind the reason for rejections. “To avoid loss of a year or six months, students are now applying for the UK where the visa process is rapid and almost sure-short,” said Dhawan, adding that in the UK also students are getting good facilities for work permits post completion of their studies.
“UK visa processing is quite transparent. Students require overall 6 bands in four modules — speaking, writing, listening and reading — and some universities are even sponsoring students based on their marks in English subject and tests conducted by such Universities,” said Dhawan.
Brexit too has contributed to the surge. With people generally trying to get into other countries in Europe, student visas to the UK have increased, a consultant added.
Another reason for the UK issuing several study visas is that there is a race among several Western countries to issue more and more study visas because the education field is providing a big boost to the economy of these countries where lakhs of students come to study every year.