Most popular ways to immigrate to the UK from India

UK and India flag

The UK welcomed over 1.2 million new arrivals in the year ending March 2023, most of which on long-term immigration visas. Indian nationals made up the largest group in terms of Work visas and Study visas, both around 30%. The UK is home to one of the largest Indian diasporas in the world, over 1.8 million Indians already live in the UK representing around 3% of the total population. Rishi Sunak the current UK Prime Minister is of Indian descent.

Most Popular WOrk VIsas

Indian nationals represent 33% of the new arrivals in 2022 who came to the UK on work visas for up to several years. After 5 years of living and working in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain which is the first step to Permanent Residency.

Health and Care Worker

The Health and Care Worker visa is the most popular visa for Indian nationals with 29,726 visas granted to the year ending March 2023. This visa allows healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, midwifes and care and socials workers, to work in the UK for up to 5 years. You must have a job offer and meet the minimum salary for your occupation. You will need to pass an English language test when applying for this visa. The advantage of this visa over others is that it is exempt from paying a Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 to have access to the NHS, saving thousands of pounds over 5 years.

Skilled Worker

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa is the second most popular visa for Indian nationals with 21,837 visas granted to the year ending March 2023. This visa is the main pathway for immigrants looking to work in the UK outside healthcare. This visa allows skilled foreign workers on the shortage occupations list to work in the UK for up to 5 years. You will need to find an approved employer to sponsor you who will meet the minimum salary requirement for the occupation. You will need to prove you can speak, read, write and understand English to a minimum standard by passing an English language test.

India Young Professionals Scheme

The India Young Professionals Scheme visa is a new opportunity for young graduates from India to live and work in the UK. This visa allows Indian nationals aged between 18-30 who have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree to move to the UK for 2 years. The benefits of this visa include being able to work with UK employers who may sponsor you for a more long-term visa, thus increasing your chancing of British citizenship down the line.

Studying in the UK

Student Visa

The Student Visa is the main pathway for people looking to study in the UK. Indian nationals represent 30% of the new arrivals in 2022, this was the highest of any nationality. There were 138,532 sponsored study visas granted to Indian nationals in the year ending March 2023, which was an increase of 22% from the previous 12 months. Applicants must be over 16 and study an approved course at an approved institution such as a university. This visa allows you to study in the UK for up to 5 years in which you can work up to 20 hours per week.

How much money should I save

The amount of money to save when planning a move to the UK will vary from person to person, having your finances planned correctly is one of the most important aspects of moving to the UK. How much is a visa? Do I have to pay the NHS Surcharge upfront? Do I need to prove I speak English?

Visa Application Fee

  • Health and Care Worker – £247 – £479
  • Skilled Worker – £625 – £1235
  • India Young Professionals Scheme – £259
  • Student Visa – £363


  • Health and Care Worker – Exempt, including dependents
  • Skilled Worker – £624 per year
  • India Young Professionals Scheme – £940, covers two years
  • Student Visa – £624 per year

Other Possible Fees

  • English Language Test – £180
  • Tuberculosis Test – £30 – £100
  • Criminal Record Certificate – £20 – £100
  • Proof of Finances – £1,270

Can I bring my family?

Health and Care Worker, Skilled Worker and a Student visa allow family members to join the main applicant in the UK, who are known as “dependants”. You don’t have to be a permanent resident or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK to bring your family members. Dependants over 18 can work full time in any profession throughout with no restrictions. The length of time allowed to stay is the same as the main applicants work visa. Dependants are not currently allowed on a Indian Young Professional Scheme visa.

  • Adult Dependant – £1846
  • One Child – £1846

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