28 February 2013

UK immigration figures continue to fall

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The latest release from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that net UK immigration has further fallen to 163,000 in the year to June 2012.

UK visa

Net migration to the UK fell to 163,000 in the year to June 2012.

The coalition Government made reducing net migration to the UK to the 'tens of thousands' by the end of the current parliament upon assuming power in 2010. Levels at the time were at record highs of approximately 250,000 and despite the Government's efforts, did little to move from those levels.

However, after making drastic changes to UK visa and immigration policy - particularly those affecting international students - the ONS revealed the changes were beginning to take effect when they showed net migration had fallen to 183,000 at the end of November last year.

While the fall below 200,000 for the first time in five years was greeted warmly by Government ministers, critics and even the ONS played down the fall - claiming the change was within the margin of error to be insignificant.

But now the latest round of figures shows a further drop - to just 163,000.

The ONS figures showed just 163,000 more people moved to the UK in the year to June 2012 than those who left in the same period. The 515,000 who came to live in the UK in that period is significantly lower than the 589,000 who moved in the same period the year before.

Critics of the Government's changes mainly focus on the impact on the country's world-leading, multi-billion pound international education industry but study remained the main reason for people to move to the UK.

However, the 197,000 who did come to the UK to study in the year to June 2012 was less than the 239,000 who came in the year before.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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