Africa: India and Nigeria are the highest recipients of United Kingdom’s Worker Visas in 2022

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Between December 2019 to June 2022, Nigerian nationals have emerged as the second highest recipients of United Kingdom’s Worker Visas.

According to Daily Times, the report disclosed that the UK Government Worker Visa approvals increased from 113,555 in 2019 to 222,349 by year ending, June 2022, a 96 per cent increase.

Nigerian nationals emerged as the second highest recipients of United Kingdom’s Worker Visas between December 2019 and June 2022. Nigeria was only topped by Indian nationals whose recipients increased from 57,087 to 102,981 in the same period.

This was disclosed by the UK Home Office in its National Statistics report titled, “Why do people come to the UK? To work”, published on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

What the report is saying
The report revealed that Nigerian approvals had increased by 11,854, a 303 per cent level change from 3,918 in December 2019 to 15,772 in June 2022, making Nigerians the second highest recipients. Meanwhile, in the same period, Indian workers grew 80 per cent, a growth of 45,894, from 57,087 in December 2019 to 102,981 by June 2022.

It added that the “Worker” visa category which was previously known as “Skilled worker” visa, includes sponsored visas which typically lead to settlement.

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The report stated, “In the year ending June 2022, ‘Worker’ visa grants increased by 96 per cent (+108,794) to 222,349 compared with 2019, and now represent 67 per cent of all work visas.

“There were 87,266 grants of ‘Skilled Worker’ visas and an additional 96,249 grants of ‘Skilled Worker – Health & Care’ visas. Grants for ‘Skilled Worker’ visas have grown every quarter since they were first introduced in December 2020, and together represent over half (55 per cent) of all work visas granted in the latest year.

“The ‘Senior or Specialist Worker (Global Business Mobility)’ route was launched in April 2022 to replace the ‘Intra-company Transfer (ICT)’ visa and there have been 2,927 grants to main applicants up to the end of June 2022. Excluding dependants, ICT-related visas together represented 18,247 grants which is 33 per cent lower than the 27,138 visas granted in Tier 2 ICT routes in 2019, continuing the decline since 2016 seen in these visa routes.

The report also added that Indian nationals continue to be the top nationality granted ‘Worker’ visas, accounting for 46 per cent. It also saw the greatest increase across all nationalities, increasing by 45,894 (+80 per cent). In contrast, grants to nationals of the United States fell by 1,474 (-16 per cent). Earlier reports indicated that The United Kingdom had opened applications for Nigerian and other foreign nationals to apply for the 2022 scale-up visa, effective from August 22.

According to a statement issued by the British government, the development would see growing businesses attract the right talent to enhance productivity across the economy as it is believed that scaling up is an important phase for high-growth businesses to continue growing and drive their international competitiveness.

What you should know about scale-up visa
A Scale-up Worker visa (or Scale-up business) allows you to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business. Unlike other sponsored visas, the Scale-up visa allows businesses to employ high-skilled individuals who will receive two years’ leave to remain in the UK without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first 6 six months.

Notably, eligible businesses will attract highly skilled talent including scientists, engineers, programmers, software developers, research and development professionals, economists, architects, technicians, financial and investment advisers. Companies, including small businesses and those in the tech and financial services sectors, that have achieved growth of 20 per cent or more in either employment or turnover year-on-year for at least three years and employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of the three years will be eligible to sponsor talented individuals through the Scale-up visa.

It could also be recalled that over 13,000 healthcare workers left the country for the UK in the past year. According to a report by the UK government, it showed that the 13,609 Nigerian healthcare workers granted working visas within the period are second only to the 42,966 from India.

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