Real-time data from Enroly Insights indicates significant year-on-year increases in student visa issuance in the UK for September 2022.
The data, which is based on thousands of self-reported outcomes from students using Enroly’s platform, compares visa statistics from a cross-section of UK higher education institutions.
With reports of delays affecting student visas in the spring, the data shows that current visa issuance is ahead of where it was at the same point in 2021, demonstrating that universities are embracing rule changes which allow them to issue a CAS earlier.
The data also demonstrates how the timing of visa applications can impact UKVI turnaround times.
International student numbers on the up 📈
The outlook for international student numbers looks bright for September, with significant increases in visa issuance compared with this time last year across a broad sample of UK universities.
Visa numbers are up 370% on the Enroly platform versus the same point last year, with the stand-out growth markets being in India and Nigeria, up 886% and 788% respectively.
Visa processing times ⏰
Enroly data on visa processing times shows that the average processing time, from visa application to visa issued, is 30 calendar days for the September 2022 intake: slightly longer than the target three weeks indicated by UKVI.
Processing times have increased during the current intake, indicating the importance for international students to apply for visas early. The graph below shows the number of days from 'visa applied' to 'visa issued' plotted against the week students received a visa.
The trend shows an increase in processing times in June, which then stabilised into July.
There were also differences in average processing times between countries.
Of the top five countries for visa issuance on the Enroly platform, Chinese students were processed fastest in an average of just 26.3 days. Nigerian visa applications were processed the slowest, in 33.3 days.
Just the beginning for processing volumes 📅
Although these visa waiting times have levelled off, Enroly data on ‘CAS issued’ versus ‘visa issued’ indicates that the volume of in visa applications may be building.
The next chart shows how the current rate of visas issued is not keeping pace with recent increases in CAS issuance.
The data indicates that if universities are expecting to process students late in the cycle, then there could be a significant deferral risk.
We’ll continue to monitor how visa and CAS outcomes develop in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned for the latest updates from Enroly Insights.
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