NEW DELHI: More than five lakh Indians visited the UK in a year since July 2018, an 11 per cent increase over the previous 12 months, according to a report released by the UK's Office for National Statistics.
The British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith called it "fantastic news" for the UK-India relationship.
"It looks like the number of Indian fans who travelled to the UK for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales was even greater than we imagined," he said, responding to the report.
The report, published every quarter by the UK's Office for National Statistics, said the number of Indians studying in the UK has almost doubled in 3 years and is now at the highest levels since 2011, it said.
The report shows that more than 5,03,000 Indians received visitor visas between July 2018 to June 2019.
"This was an 11 per cent increase compared to the previous year," the report said.
The report said that Indian and Chinese nationals together accounted for nearly half (49 per cent) of all visitor visas granted.
"In addition to the visitor visas, nearly 22,000 Indian nationals received a tier 4 (study) visa for the year ending June 2019 up from approximately 15,000 the previous year," the report said.
The report further said that Indian nationals continue to receive more skilled work visas than the rest of the world combined, accounting for 52 per cent of all tier 2 visas granted globally.
"More than 56,000 Indians received skilled work visas a 5 per cent increase compared to the previous year, which is also the largest increase for any country," the report said.
Asquith said, "It also shows that the UK continues to be a welcoming place for Indians to work, study and vacation. I hope to see even more visitors from India in the future."
"The more Indians visit, the stronger the living bridge becomes between our two countries. I look forward to working with our partners in India to ensure this impressive record continues," he said in a statement.