…Work visas rise 109%
The number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas, also known as student visas, by the United Kingdom (UK) has increased by 222.8 percent.
The number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas, also known as student visas, by the United Kingdom (UK) has increased by 222.8 percent to 65,929 in June 2022 from 20,427 in the same period of 2021. Further analysis of the official immigration data released by the British government on Thursday also shows that the 65,929 students’ visas is the highest in four years when compared with 7,132, 9,066 and 20, 427 in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Of the top five countries, Nigeria recorded the largest percentage increase in students’ visas compared with Pakistani (141.3%), India (88.3%), the United States (60.6%) and China (20.6%).
Immigration consultants say the county’s high intellectual capabilities, cheap labour, large working population, high Diaspora remittances and the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (Brexit) are the reasons why the UK is scouting for Nigerians to grow their economy.
According to the Chief Executive Officer at Japaconsult, Oludayo Sokunbi, “This data is expected; because of the opportunities that the UK government is giving to the world. They see the value that international people are doing for other countries like Canada, Australia etc.” He further said that in his firm, about 80 percent of their clients are applying to go to the UK because of its easy access to study visas compared to other countries.
The immigration data also highlighted that in terms of skilled worker visas, Nigeria grew by 109.1 percent from 7, 543 in June 2021 from 15,772 in the same period of this year. It is also the highest in four years when compared with 3,038 in June 2019 and 3,550 in June 2020. The country had the second percentage increase; as India was the first, with 146.1%, the Philippines had 56.3%, and the United States had 26%.
The UK is looking more to the commonwealth and other countries outside the European Union (EU) to fill its skills shortage, because international students bring money into the economy, says Toyyib Adelodun, a UK-based immigration consultant.
Since 2020, the UK has been flexible in its immigration system and routes due to its withdrawal from Brexit. The removal has created a lot of job vacancies at the middle and low levels in the economy.
Some of the routes introduced are Graduate route, High Potential Individual visa and Global talent visa. And just recently, the country introduced a new Scale-up visa. The visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK to work in an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business for a period of at least six months.