Nigerian nationals saw the largest increase of approved study visas for the year ending 2021, rising 347% to 36,783 in 2021 and 386% in the past 2 years.

This is according to immigration data from the UK Government accessing student migration numbers to the United Kingdom.

The report also stated that Nigeria makes the largest increase amongst the top 5 nationalities which includes China, India, the United States and Pakistan.

What the report said

The UK government said Chinese nationals were the most common nationality granted sponsored study visas in the year ending September 2021, with 135,457 visas granted, an increase of 13% compared to the year ending September 2019.

They accounted for 32% of the total Sponsored study visas granted, a slightly smaller proportion than the peak of 43% granted in the year ending September 2019

“In the top 5 nationalities, Nigerian nationals saw the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study grants compared with the year ending September 2019, increasing by 28,923 (+368%) to a record high of 36,783, making them the third largest nationality group this year,” the report stated.

The report stated that for the year ending september 2019, 7,860 Nigerians were granted study sponsored study visa, compared to 8,229 in 2020 and 36,783 by 2021

The report also added that Sponsored Study visas bring relatively few dependants, with 90% of the visas issued being to main applicants, compared with 68% for Work visas, adding that sponsored study grants to dependants almost trebled, increasing to 44,605.

It said, “the year ending September 2021, two nationalities accounted for the majority (63%) of Sponsored study dependants: India (33%) and Nigeria (31%).”

However, despite having more Sponsored study visas granted than any other single country, China only had 355 dependants granted a visa in this route, just 0.8% of the total dependants granted.

What you should know

Recall Nairametrics reported last year that British Government  announced that the new Graduate route will resume for applications on July 1, 2021,

The route is for international students who want to work, following completion of a course of study at the UK bachelor’s degree level or above.  Students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students.


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