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UK Home Office’s Quarterly Migration Statistics

In today’s blogpost we will be examining today’s release of the Home Office’s quarterly migration statistics, specifically looking at the top 10 nationalities granted Tier 2 work visas, Tier 4 Student visas and asylum.The government records cover the period between April to June 2015.

Today’s latest figures show a net rise in migration to 330,000 beating the previous record of 320,000 in 2005 by 10,000. James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, described the figures as ‘deeply disappointing’ as the government’s target of 100,000, shattered by 230,000, lies in tatters. On top of this the number of foreign born nationals living in the UK has also now surpassed the 8 million mark although 3 million of them have since claimed British Citizenship. Today’s figures show a 5th consecutive quarterly rise in net migration.

Work –

Labour market figures show that the growth in employment levels, by 324,000 in the year ending March, were fueled by migrants with 75% of the jobs being filled by non British nationals. According to the Home Office

Including dependants and short term visas, there were 168,544 work-related visas granted in the year ending June 2015, up 6% (+9,313) compared with the previous year. There were increases in Tier 2 skilled work (+7,977) and Tier 5 Youth mobility (+2,679 main applicants) as well as a reduction in the number of dependants in routes now closed to new applicants (Tier 1 General -1,779; Tier 1 Post Study -1,141)

Interestingly, the government is looking to resistrict Tier 2 visas by introducing tough new measures that raise the miminum salary requirements for workers. Below we have documented the top 10 nationalities who are granted tier 2 work visas.

India 15809
USA 12090
Australia 6337
Philippines 3714
Canada 3587
China 3524
Pakistan 2368
South Africa 2202
New Zealand 2064
Russia 1760

Study –

Figures for students also increased, with the majority of foreign students coming from China (accounting for nearly a third of all total student visas) Again, the government is looking to make it harder for foreign students to enter the UK and the last few years have witnessed increased restrictions and clampdowsn on ‘bogus universities and colleges’ Below we have documented the top 10 nationalities for tier 4 Student visas.

China 18559
Thailand 1262
United States 1120
Taiwan 669
Saudi Arabia 598
Japan 399
India 323
Nigeria 297
Korea (South) 292
Brazil 276

Asylum –

Always a controvertial issue, asylum figures make for surprising reading. Despite the increasingly hostile rhetoric of right wing politicians and a low public opinion of migrants, asylum seekers made up a tiny fraction of the UK bound dispora. The year ending June saw a total number of 25,771 asylum applications, up 10,000 compared to the previous year yet far behind the peak number of applications in 2002 that saw a record (84,132) applications. According to the Home Office, the UK had the seventh highest number of asylum applications in Europe with Germany, Hungary and Sweden receiving the most. Below we have produced a table for the top 10 nationalities to be granted asylum in the UK in the last quarter.

Syria 625
Sudan 461
Iran 408
Eritrea 303
Albania 99
Pakistan 91
Stateless 87
Afganistan 76
Ethiopia 72
Sri Lanka 42

With the migrant crisis in Calais seeming to be without resolution, it will be interesting to compare these stastics in the following quarter’s release. Overall, the stastics do not come as a surprise to some. The past year has seen consecutive rises in net migration to the UK. However, the real impact remains to be seen. Obviously immigration brings both advantages and disadvantages but these are not always easy to measure. Indeed, a common concern is that immigrants are occupying the UK labour market and are taking benefits. However, The ONS states that 61% of EU migrants have a job arranged in the UK before they arrive, the figures, however, for non EU nationals remain harder to judge. Overall, the old argument of how to reduce immigration will rear its head. In reality though, what will the consequences of this be? One important distinction to be made is the difference in migratory figures for both EU and non EU nationals. The government cannot limit EU migration and therefore is trying to impose tougher restrictions on non EU migration. What would be interesting is a comparison between the perecentage of EU compared to non EU migration.

What do you think of these latest figures? Is immigration your number one concern? Should more be done to halt the current ‘wave’? Leave your thoughts below.

Westkin Associates


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