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About 83000 Pakistanis migrated to UK in 2023: ONS Report

ISLAMABAD: In the calendar year 2023, about 83000 Pakistanis migrated to the United Kingdom (UK).

In 2023, Indians became the largest immigrant group in the UK, with over 250,000 arrivals, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

This group included 127,000 individuals migrating for work, 115,000 for studies, and 9,000 for other purposes. Following Indians, Nigerians constituted the second-largest group of immigrants with 141,000 arrivals, followed by Chinese (90,000) and Pakistanis (83,000).

Despite this influx, net migration to the UK decreased to 685,000 last year from a record high of 764,000 in 2022, marking a 10% decline. These immigration figures encompass foreigners arriving for work or study.

There has been a significant shift in the composition of immigration to the UK. In 2023, non-EU arrivals accounted for 85% of the total, a stark contrast to the pre-2021 era when most long-term immigrants were EU nationals. Currently, employment, rather than education, is the primary reason non-EU citizens relocate to the UK.

In 2023, 423,000 non-EU workers migrated to the UK for employment, a 53% increase from 277,000 the previous year. Additionally, more dependents than primary applicants now accompany those on long-term work visas. In 2023, 279,131 visas were issued to dependents of work visa holders, an 80% increase from 2022. Among these, 203,452 visas were for dependents of healthcare professionals.

The Home Office reported that 337,240 work visas, including 146,477 health and care visas, were granted to primary applicants in 2023. This represents a 91% increase from the 176,724 work visas granted the previous year. Notably, care workers received 89,236 visas, with Indians comprising the largest group of recipients at 18,664.

Indians also received 11,322 nurse visas, accounting for more than half of the total issued.

In the educational sector, 114,409 graduate visas were granted to primary applicants, with 50,053 of these going to Indian students. Indians also received the majority of study visas overall.

However, new data from the Home Office indicates a decline in the number of Indian nationals granted study visas. Specifically, 21,800 fewer Indian nationals traveled to the UK for master’s degree programs in the year ending in March compared to the previous year. This decrease is attributed to new limitations on bringing dependents, which took effect in January.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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