29 November 2011

UK net migration at record heights despite government's measures

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The UK's coalition government appears to be failing to meet their pledge to reduce net migration into Britain to "tens of thousands", as new UK immigration figures reveals migration to Britain in the 12 months to March 2011 is the highest on record

UK visa

New UK immigration figures reveals net migration in the last 12 months to March 2011 is the highest on record

The research, conducted by the Office for National Statistics, shows that although net UK immigration fell slightly, there was also a fall in emigration, with the number of Britons departing the UK to live overseas at its lowest level in 13 years.

Figures also indicate a fall in the number of illegal entrants and failed asylum seekers who either leave voluntarily or are deported. The number was down by 13% in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. At the same time, applications for asylum increased to the highest level in two years.

The Home Office has claimed it is too early to see the true impact of measures designed to cut migration to the UK and that more recent UK visa figures indicate the trend is beginning to reverse. However, the freedom of movement for citizens within the European Union is beyond the government’s ability to influence, causing a headache for ministers seeking to honour the pledge to drastically reduce the number of incoming migrants.

While Immigration Minister Damian Green claims the net migration figures are “encouraging”, the minister chose not to comment specifically on the overall increase. Speaking for the UK Independence Party, Gerard Batten MEP said: “The Government has to own up. It hasn't a clue how to deal with the problem, and it has to be honest that whilst our migration and asylum rules are set in Brussels it will never have the power to control it." 


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

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