Numbers of UK visas and permanent migration remained constant in 2009

In the year to June 2009, UK immigration saw 518,000 people coming to the UK to live, work or study and 370,000 leaving to live abroad, giving a net migration figure of 147,000.

The number of people granted British citizenship rose by 58 per cent from 129,375 to 203,865 between 2008 and 2009, although the increase in numbers is behind the overall migration picture as it takes between three and five years to gain citizenship.

The overall number of UK Visas, including for visitors, students and workers, rose by 2 per cent in 2009 to 1.9 million, including an increase in UK Student Visas from 208,000 to 271,000.

The drop in migrants from central and eastern Europe saw only 113,000 people apply to work in Britain under the workers' registration scheme, compared with 166,000 in 2008.

The number of new asylum seekers to Britain also fell by 30 per cent in the past year.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge UK Visa applications with the British Embassy.