This edition of the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (MSQR) includes provisional estimates of international migration for the year ending September 2013.
The MSQR series brings together statistics on migration that are published quarterly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Migration estimates are a fundamental component of ONS’s mid-year population estimates. These are used by central and local government and the health sector for planning and monitoring service delivery, resource allocation and managing the economy. There is considerable interest in migration statistics both nationally and internationally, particularly in relation to the impact of migration on society and on the economy. Additionally, migration statistics are used by the government to monitor the impact of immigration policy, and their performance against their target of reducing annual net migration to the tens of thousands by 2015.
For further information on how ONS migration statistics are used, along with information on their fitness for purpose, please see the Quality and Methodology Information for Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) Releases (329.4 Kb Pdf) (137 Kb Pdf). For information on the accuracy of these statistics, the difference between provisional and final figures and guidance on comparing different data sources, please see the MSQR Information for Users (309.1 Kb Pdf) . If you are new to migration statistics, you might find it helpful to read our ‘International Migration Statistics First Time User Guide’ (354.8 Kb Pdf) .
New for this release:
The EU2 is now shown as an identifiable group (alongside EU15 and EU8) in the International Passenger Survey (IPS) data tables to provide information on flows of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens to and from the UK.
Confidence intervals and optional shading to show where statistically significant changes have occurred in migration flows since the previous year have been added to data tables for both LTIM and IPS estimates.
ONS are running a consultation on the country groupings that are used in the reporting of migration statistics. The consultation closes on Tuesday 18 March 2014. To find out more, please go to our consultation page
ONS will be reviewing the structure and content of the MSQR during 2014. If you have any comments you would like to be considered during this review then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org before 30 April 2014.
Revisions to net migration estimates in light of the 2011 Census
ONS has published revised net migration figures as components of change in revised mid-year population estimates from the year ending mid-2002 to the year ending mid-2010 for the United Kingdom. These take into account the results from the 2011 Census, and included a revision to the net migration component, focussed primarily on immigration during the middle part of the decade before improvements were made to the IPS in 2009. The methods used to revise the mid-year population estimates for England and Wales are explained in a report published in December 2012.
Table 1 provides an at-a-glance comparison of final LTIM estimates, with the revised net migration components of the mid-year population estimates for the United Kingdom. Previously, this table included England and Wales data, but since the November 2013 publication of the MSQR, data for the UK have become available.
|Final LTIM net migration estimate2||New mid-year estimate (MYE)1 net migration (revised)3||Difference between revised MYE1 net migration and final LTIM net migration estimate|
ONS has been reviewing the quality of LTIM for the time periods shown above. The review will be published in full in Spring 2014. For more information, including the provisional results of this review, please see the Quality of Long Term International Migration estimates 2001 to 2011 (37 Kb Pdf) .
This section describes the latest international migration statistics within the context of the historical time series of the statistics, setting out the likely drivers behind the trends observed. It shows the latest available figures from the following sources:
1. Provisional long-term international migration figures for the year ending September 2013.
2. Entry clearance visas issued by the Home Office up to December 2013.
3. National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals up to December 2013.
4. Labour market statistics on employment by nationality and country of birth, October to December 2013.
The Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) datasets use the UN definition of a long-term international migrant, that is someone who moves from their country of previous residence for a period of at least a year.
The latest long-term international migration estimates for the year ending September 2013 show that:
532,000 people immigrated to the UK;
320,000 people emigrated from the UK;
net migration (the difference between these figures) was 212,000.
Different nationalities have different visa requirements for entering and staying in the UK:
European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not require a visa to come to the UK.
For over 100 other nationalities, covering three-quarters of the world population, a visa is required for entry to the UK for any purpose or for any length of stay
For all remaining nationalities a visa is normally required for those wanting to come to the UK for over six months, or for work.
Excluding visitor and transit visas, the number of visas issued increased to 532,574 in the year ending December 2013. This was 5% higher than the year ending December 2012 (507,540).
During the 1960s and 1970s, there were more people emigrating from the UK than arriving to live in the UK. During the 1980s and early 1990s, net migration was positive at a relatively low level in the majority of years. Since 1994, it has been positive every year and rose sharply after 1997. During the 2000s, net migration peaked in 2004/05, in part as a result of immigration of citizens from the countries that joined the EU in 2004. Since the peak, annual net migration has fluctuated between around 150,000 and 250,000. Latest provisional estimates show net migration was 212,000 in the year ending September 2013.
The changes to net migration shown in Figure 1.1 have been caused by changes in immigration and emigration. In some years, net migration increased as a result of increased immigration (for example, in 2004/05) and in other years it has increased because emigration has fallen (for example in 2007). Latest figures for the year ending September 2013 show that immigration has increased slightly (although not a statistically significant change) by 35,000 to 532,000 from 497,000 during the previous year. Additionally, emigration has fallen slightly (although again not a statistically significant change) from 343,000 to 320,000. The combined increase in immigration and decrease in emigration has resulted in a statistically significant increase in net migration to 212,000 from 154,000.
Recent patterns in total net migration have been affected by different changes in migration flows between EU citizens and non-EU citizens. Net migration of EU citizens doubled from 65,000 in the year ending September 2012 to 131,000 in the year ending September 2013, a statistically significant increase. Conversely, the estimate of net migration of non-EU citizens has declined over the last few years. Although the recent fall to 141,000 in the year ending September 2013 from 160,000 in the previous year was not a statistically significant change, non-EU net migration remains at a lower level relative to the 2005 and 2010 peaks (Figure 1.2).
Three quarters of immigration and two thirds of emigration to and from the UK are people migrating to work or study. Changes in flows of people migrating for these reasons affect the overall flows to and from the UK (Figure 3.11). Different changes in migration patterns are seen between EU and non-EU citizens, driven by the different rights to immigrate to the UK and the impact of government policy. Most of the 532,574 visas issued in the year ending December 2013 were for study (218,773, excluding student visitors) or for work (154,860). In addition, 77,664 student visitor and 33,690 family–related visas were issued (Figure 3.12).
The most commonly stated reasons for immigrating to the UK are work-related. This has been the case historically, with the exception of 2009 to 2012 when study was the most common main reason for immigration. LTIM estimates show that immigration for work peaked in the years 2005 to 2007 at around 240,000, the last year prior to the recent economic recession, but then declined reaching a low of 173,000 in the year ending June 2012. Recently immigration for work has started to increase again, reaching 218,000 in the year ending September 2013.
This pattern is also reflected in National Insurance numbers (NINos) issued to non-UK nationals immigrating for work. The number of NINos will include people who are coming to the UK for short periods or temporary purposes, as well as long-term migrants. The number of NINos allocated to non-UK nationals shows a peak of 797,000 in 2007 following a steady increase since 2004. Since then they have fluctuated around 600,000, falling to a low of 519,000 in 2012, and then increasing again to 617,000 in the year ending December 2013.
Since 2007, around half of immigrants arriving for work have been EU citizens and 25 to 30% have been non-EU citizens. Prior to EU Accession in 2004, these proportions were reversed. This reflects the increase in the numbers of EU citizens migrating to the UK for work since 2004, combined with a steady decrease in the numbers of non-EU citizens arriving for work over the same period. In 2004, 113,000 non-EU citizens arrived for work. This has steadily declined and stood at 43,000 in the year ending September 2013.
This trend is reflected in the latest Labour market statistics for October to December 2013. These show that whilst the number of non-UK nationals in employment in the UK increased overall by 54,000 (2.0%) to 2.7 million in October to December 2013 from the same quarter in the previous year, the number of EU nationals in employment in the UK increased by 8.9% to 1.54 million, whilst the number of non-EU nationals in employment in the UK decreased by 5.9% to 1.15 million.
The steady decline in non-EU citizens arriving for work is also seen in the numbers of work-related visas issued to non-EEA nationals. In the year ending December 2013, a total of 154,860 work-related visas were issued, which although showing a recent rise of 7% compared with the previous year, is lower than the peak of 249,634 work-related visas issued in the year ending December 2006. The number of NINos allocated to nationals of Asia and the Middle East continues to fall, standing at 92,000 in the year ending December 2013. This figure is less than half the peak of 218,000 NINos allocated to nationals of Asia and the Middle East in the year ending December 2010.
Long-term immigration for work from within the EU has shown a different pattern. In 2004, 65,000 EU citizens migrated to the UK for work (IPS estimate). This peaked at 125,000 in 2007, remained steady at around 90,000 from 2008 to 2012 and has recently shown a statistically significant increase to 129,000 in the year ending September 2013 from 89,000 in the previous year. NINos allocated to EU citizens show a similar recent increase of 28% from 343,000 in the year ending December 2012 to 440,000 in the year ending December 2013.
The recent increase in EU citizens arriving for work has been driven by a statistically significant increase in EU15 and EU2 citizens arriving for a definite job. Additionally, there has been a small, but not statistically significant increase in EU8 citizens arriving for work. Approximately two-thirds of all EU immigrants arriving for work-related reasons have a definite job to go to.
In the year ending September 2013, 65,000 EU15 citizens immigrated to the UK for work-related reasons, an increase of 23,000 from the previous year. An estimated 42,000 migrated to the UK for a definite job, which is the highest recorded estimate for this group and an increase from 28,000 during the previous year. A similar rise is shown in the NINo allocations to EU15 nationals (Figure 3.15) which have increased by 36% to 208,000 in the year ending December 2013.
Immigration of Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) citizens for work-related reasons in the year ending September 2013 stood at 17,000, of which 11,000 reported having a definite job, a statistically significant increase from 2,000 in the previous year. Latest IPS figures estimate that 47,000 EU8 citizens immigrated to the UK for work in the year ending September 2013, which is not a statistically significant difference from the 41,000 who immigrated for work in the previous year. However, nationals of Poland continue to receive the most NINo allocations (111,000 in 2013), and were amongst the countries which saw the largest increases in NINo registrations (up 31,000), alongside Italy (up 18,000), Spain (up 14,000) and Portugal (up 10,000).
Similarly to immigration, the most common reasons provided by people emigrating from the UK are also work-related. Emigration for all reasons peaked at 427,000 in 2008 and steadily declined to 320,000 in the year ending September 2013. British citizens are the largest single nationality of emigrants from the UK (43% of all emigrants). Emigration of British citizens peaked at 207,000 in 2006, fell to a low of 128,000 in the year ending June 2010 and 138,000 emigrated in the year ending September 2013. Just over half (59%) of British citizens emigrating did so for work-related reasons in the year ending September 2013. Of these, 22,000 were intending to look for work, which was a statistically significant increase on 15,000 the previous year.
Over the last decade, there have been changes in the number of people migrating to the UK to study. Around 140,000 to 150,000 long-term migrants arrived in the UK annually to study during the early 2000s. This started to increase from 2008 to a peak of 246,000 in the year ending September 2011. Since then the number has steadily declined to 176,000 in the year ending September 2013. However, trends in student numbers over time, as recorded by study visa applications, differ between the university sector and other education sectors.
Home Office data show that the recent decline in people arriving to study has been in the non-university sectors and predominantly from citizens of New Commonwealth countries. IPS estimates also show that there were over 100,000 New Commonwealth long-term immigrants who stated that they came to the UK to study in 2010/11, a number that has reduced by two-thirds to 34,000 in the year ending September 2013, its lowest level since 2002.
An estimated 73% of long-term immigrants to the UK for study are non-EU citizens. In particular, the majority of immigrants to the UK for formal study come from the Other Foreign country group, which includes China, from which 87,000 people immigrated for formal study in the year ending September 2013.
There were 218,773 visas issued for the purposes of study (excluding student visitors) in the year ending December 2013, a rise of 4%. This figure is almost a third (32%) lower compared with the peak in the year ending June 2010 (320,183).
Data on sponsored applications for visas by education sector suggests that the falls in visas issued for study have been in the non-university sector (see Figure 3.13).
The number of sponsored student visa applications remained at a similar level, 210,100, in the year ending December 2013. However there was a 7% increase for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions) and falls of 34%, 2% and 2% respectively for the further education sector (tertiary, further education or other colleges), English language schools and independent schools in the total for the year compared to a year earlier (Figure 3.13).
A quarter of people immigrated to the UK and a third emigrated from the UK for reasons other than work or study in the year ending September 2013. Reasons for migrating other than work or study include accompanying or joining family or friends, asylum and returning home to live.
The third most common reason for migrating to the UK is to accompany/join. In the year ending September 2013, 66,000 long-term migrants arrived in the UK to accompany or join relatives; this figure is similar to the estimate of 63,000 who migrated for this reason in the year previously (Figure 3.11). There was a statistically significant increase in EU8 migrants coming to the UK to accompany/join to 8,000 in the year ending September 2013 from 3,000 in the previous year.
Visa data show that 33,690 family route visas were issued in the year ending December 2013. This is a decrease of 18% compared with the year ending December 2012 (40,892) and is the lowest number of family route visas issued since comparable records began in 2005. Of those who emigrated from the UK, 31,000 left to accompany / join in the year ending September 2013, which represents 1 in 10 emigrants.
The number of applications for asylum, excluding dependants, in the year ending December 2013 (23,507) was 8% higher than the year ending December 2012 (21,843). The increase of 1,664 applications is mainly accounted for by nationals of Syria (+681), Eritrea (+649) and Albania (+507). The largest number of asylum applications in 2013 came from Pakistan (3,343), Iran (2,417), Sri Lanka (1,808) and Syria (1,669). Applications for asylum peaked in the year ending December 2002 (84,132) but no longer contribute as greatly to long-term migration inflows (typically accounting for about 5%).
IPS estimates show that 22,000 immigrants and 29,000 emigrants stated their main reason for migrating was ‘going home to live’ in the year ending September 2013. The vast majority (20,000) of 22,000 immigrants who stated this reason were British. Of the 29,000 emigrants returning home, 20,000 were EU citizens (of whom 10,000 were EU8 citizens) and 7,000 were citizens of non-EU countries. The remaining 2,000 emigrants were British citizens. The peak of people emigrating to return home was in 2008 when 62,000 emigrated for this reason, which is possibly connected to the start of the recession.
This section contains latest available data on migration to and from the UK by different types of migrants. It includes the latest available provisional LTIM estimates by citizenship for the year ending September 2013 and Home Office administrative data on the number of entry clearance visas issued for the year ending December 2013. This section explores the different patterns in migration flows by different types of migrants that together influence the total patterns in migration flows. It focuses on:
EU and non-EU citizens
Provisional long-term international migration estimates by citizenship show that in the year ending September 2013 the estimated number of British citizens immigrating to the UK was 79,000. This figure is the same as the estimated number of British immigrants to the UK in the previous year. IPS data show that there was a slight increase in the number of British citizens immigrating for work-related reasons to 39,000 in the year ending September 2013. British citizens immigrating for formal study was the same as the previous year (8,000), and there was a slight fall in the number immigrating to accompany/join and for ‘going home to live’ to 9,000 and 20,000 respectively, although none of these changes were statistically significant.
The estimated number of British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK in the year ending September 2013 was 138,000, which although lower is statistically at a similar level to the 150,000 in the year ending September 2012 (Figure 2.11). Emigration of British citizens is now 33% lower than at its most recent peak of 207,000 in the year ending December 2006, and has remained at around the same level since 2010.
Net migration of EU citizens has approximately doubled in the year ending September 2013 to 131,000 from 65,000 the previous year, a statistically significant increase. An estimated 209,000 citizens from the EU (excluding British) migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013, a statistically significant increase from the 149,000 who immigrated in the previous year. This is the highest estimate of EU immigration since the IPS began in 1964. IPS estimates show that 53%, 34% and 12% of total EU immigration in the year ending September 2013 was accounted for by citizens of the EU15, EU8 and EU2 respectively.
The estimated number of EU citizens (excluding British) emigrating from the UK was 78,000 in the year ending September 2013, which is slightly lower than the 84,000 EU citizens who emigrated in the previous year (Figure 2.21).
The recent increase in EU immigration has been partly driven by a statistically significant increase in the number of EU15 citizens (excluding British) arriving in the UK from 79,000 in the year ending September 2012 to 107,000 in the year ending September 2013. Of these, 65,000 arrived for work-related reasons – a statistically significant increase from 42,000 in the year ending September 2012 (Figure 2.22). There was a statistically significant increase in net migration of EU15 citizens, which increased from 30,000 in the year ending September 2012 to 60,000 in the year ending September 2013.
Net migration of EU8 citizens increased (although not statistically significantly) to 48,000 in the year ending September 2013 from 28,000 for the year ending September 2012. An estimated 74,000 EU8 citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013 compared to 59,000 in the previous year. The figure for emigration of EU8 citizens in the year ending September 2013 was 26,000, which is similar to the 31,000 people who emigrated in the previous year (Figure 2.23).
It should be noted that from May 2011 transitional controls that applied to EU8 citizens seeking work in other EU countries expired (these were never applied in the Irish Republic, Sweden and the UK). This may have had the effect of diverting some EU8 migration flows to other EU countries, such as Germany, which in 2012 experienced its highest net migration since 1995.
Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2007. Since then, migrants from Bulgaria and Romania (collectively known as the EU2) coming to the UK were subject to transitional employment restrictions, which placed limits on the kind of employment they could undertake. These restrictions ended on 1 January 2014. Further information on the latest figures and when data on Bulgarian and Romanian migration to the UK since 1 January 2014 will be available can be found here: Bulgarian and Romanian migration to the UK in 2014. The latest IPS data for the year ending September 2013 show that an estimated 24,000 EU2 citizens arrived in the UK. This was a statistically significant increase from 9,000 the previous year. 71% of EU2 migrants arrived for work-related reasons (17,000). An estimated 3,000 EU2 citizens left the UK in the year ending September 2013, which was similar to the previous year.
The estimated number of non-EU citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year ending September 2013 was 244,000, a statistically significant decrease compared to the estimate of 269,000 in the year ending September 2012. The estimated number of non-EU citizens emigrating from the UK in the year ending September 2013 was 103,000, which was similar to the estimate of 108,000 in the year ending September 2012. This has resulted in a slight decrease in net migration of non-EU citizens from an estimated 160,000 in the year ending September 2012 to 141,000 in the year ending September 2013, although this was not a statistically significant change (Figure 2.3). Immigration of non-EU citizens has been declining since the year ending September 2011.
The decrease in immigration of non-EU citizens has been largely due to a statistically significant decrease in immigration of New Commonwealth citizens (from 104,000 in the year ending September 2012 to 78,000 in the year ending September 2013), in particular for the purposes of study. An estimated 34,000 New Commonwealth citizens arrived for study in the year ending September 2013, which is statistically significantly lower than the estimate of 53,000 who arrived in the year ending September 2012. Inflows of New Commonwealth citizens for study are now at their lowest level since 2002. These changes are likely to be related to changes seen in the visa data, indicating the sharp decline in sponsored study migration in the Further Education sector. Immigration of other foreign citizens (the main other non-EU citizenship group, which includes China) for study remained at a similar level in the year ending September 2013 (87,000) compared to the year ending September 2012 (85,000).
Administrative data on entry clearance visas provide information on the nationality of those who are coming to the UK, though they relate to those subject to immigration control, so normally exclude EU nationals and some others.
Figure 2.4 shows trends in visas issued (excluding visitor and transit visas) by world area since 2005. From the year ending September 2009 onwards those with an Asian nationality have accounted for the majority of visas and have driven the recent fluctuations in visa numbers. Asian nationals accounted for 275,709 (52%) of the 532,574 visas issued in the year ending December 2013, with India and China each accounting for 15% of the total.
The number of visas issued in the year ending December 2013, excluding visitor and transit visas, was 25,034 higher than in the year ending December 2012 (507,540). This included increases for China (up 6,593 or +9%), United States (up 2,888 or +9%) and Brazil (up 2,560 or +65%). A further rise for Libya (up 2,522 or +67%) is consistent with a return to previous levels that applied before the fall of the former Libyan regime.
Although the above figures exclude visitor and transit visas, they will include some individuals who do not plan to move to the UK for a year or more as well as dependants. Nevertheless, recent trends in visas issued have provided a good leading indicator for trends in non-EU immigration. Data on visas issued also provide information on reasons why people are migrating, as detailed in Section 3.
This section contains the latest available figures on immigration to the UK by reason. These are available from a number of sources. However, it is important to note that each source covers a different group of people – for example Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) only covers people intending to stay in the UK for at least 12 months, whereas other sources also include short-term immigrants. In addition the LTIM estimates cover all nationalities, whereas other sources only cover immigrants of specific nationalities.
More information on comparing data sources is available in the MSQR User Information (309.1 Kb Pdf) .
Provisional LTIM estimates for the year ending September 2013 show that work-related reasons are the most common reason given for migrating to the UK. Between 2009 and 2012 formal study had been the most common main reason for immigration to the UK. An estimated 218,000 long-term migrants arrived to the UK for work-related reasons in the year ending September 2013. This is a statistically significant increase when compared to the estimate of 175,000 in the year ending September 2012. An estimated 176,000 long-term migrants arrived to the UK to study in the year ending September 2013. Although not a statistically significant change, this estimate is lower than the 187,000 who arrived to study in the year ending September 2012 (Figure 3.11).
The third most common reason for migrating to the UK is to accompany/join. In the year ending September 2013, 66,000 people migrated to the UK to accompany or join relatives; this figure is similar to the estimate of 63,000 who migrated for this reason in the year previously. (Figure 3.11).
Excluding visitor and transit visas, most visas are issued under the Points Based System (PBS) for work (Tiers 1, 2 and 5) and study (Tier 4). Further information on the different tiers of the PBS is available in the Glossary. The data also include those issued for family reasons, and dependants.
In the year ending December 2013, there were increases in the numbers of visas issued for the purposes of work (+7% to 154,860) and study (excluding student visitors, +4% to 218,773). These figures are still lower compared with the peak figures for work in the year ending December 2006 (-38%, 249,634) and study (excluding student visitors) in the year ending June 2010 (-32%, 320,183). The number of visas issued for family reasons decreased in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous twelve months (-18%, to 33,690).
Previous falls in the number of visas issued for work, study and family reasons are consistent with changes to the rules governing visas related to these routes of entry which began to come into effect from the end of 2010. They are also broadly consistent with recent downward trends in the LTIM measure of non-EU immigration, though they extend three months beyond the period covered by the latest provisional LTIM estimates. However, in making comparisons, it should be recognised many visas are granted for periods of less than 12 months.
In the year ending December 2005, a total of 191,584 visas were issued for the purposes of study (excluding student visitors). This figure increased gradually at first, but then increased sharply, peaking at 320,183 in the year ending June 2010, a rise of 41% on the previous year. Following this peak there has been a fall in the number of visas issued for the purposes of study (excluding student visitors) to 204,469 in the year ending June 2013. The figure has now risen to 218,773 for the year ending December 2013, a 4% increase compared with the year ending December 2012 (209,749, see Figure 3.12).
The main nationalities to show an increase in the number of visas issued for study purposes (excluding student visitors) in the year ending December 2013 were Chinese (5,227, +9%), Brazilian (2,438, +147%) and Malaysian (1961, +24%). Despite the overall increase, there were also decreases for other nationalities such as Pakistani, from 10,984 to 4,947 (-55%) and Indian, from 17,271 to 13,608 (-21%).
As well as the 4% (9,024) increase in study visas issued compared to the previous year, there was a 14% increase (9,313) in student visitor visas issued to 77,664 in the year ending December 2013. Student visit visas are for short-term study and cannot be extended. Excluding such short-term migrants from the study-related visas granted data provide a better comparison with LTIM long-term immigration data.
In the year ending December 2013, there were 210,100 sponsored student visa applications (main applicants), similar to the previous year. However there was a 7% increase for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions, to 167,995) and falls of 34%, 2% and 2% respectively for the further education sector (tertiary, further education or other colleges to 21,442), English language schools (to 3,532) and independent schools (to 13,617).
As a consequence, the share of visa applications for the university sector rose from 75% to 80% over the same period, whilst the shares for the Further Education sector fell from 15% to 10%.
The highest 12-monthly total for work-related visas issued was 249,634 in the calendar year 2006 (note that the data series starts at the year ending December 2005). This figure then declined gradually to 152,993 in the year ending March 2010. After that the number rose slightly to 161,809 in the year ending March 2011, then fell to 141,772 for the year ending March 2013. It has increased to 154,860 in the year ending December 2013, 7% more than the previous year (145,110). In 2013 the highest numbers of work-related visas were issued to Indian (35%), Australian (10%) and United States (10%) nationals.
More detailed information on work-related visas issued by ‘Tier’ can be found in the latest Home Office briefings on immigration for work. The latest Home Office briefings on immigration for work, study, family and of EEA nationals now available.
In addition to the visas information, the Home Office has released provisional quarterly figures up to December 2013 on asylum applications. There has been an 8% increase in the number of asylum applications in the year ending December 2013 (23,507) compared with the year ending December 2012 (21,843). The number of applications in year ending December 2013 remains low relative to the peak number of applications in the year ending December 2002 (84,132), and is now similar to the levels seen in the year ending December 2007 (23,431).
The largest number of applications for asylum in 2013 were from nationals of Pakistan (3,343), followed by Iran (2,417), Sri Lanka (1,808) and Syria (1,669).
The 1,664 increase in total applications for 2013 was driven by rises from a number of nationalities, in particular from Syria (+681), Eritrea (+649) and Albania (+507). While Syria saw the largest increase in applications it remains fourth for overall numbers of asylum applications in 2013.
National Insurance numbers (NINos) are compulsory for people wishing to work in the UK, whether short-term or long-term. NINo allocation statistics give an approximation of the uptake of work by non-UK nationals. They are not however equivalent to the long-term migration statistics, as they will include a large number of people who are coming for short-term employment, only record people on first registration, and have differences in timing and coverage.
The total number of NINo registrations to adult overseas nationals in the year ending December 2013 was 617,000, an increase of 98,000 (19%) on the year ending December 2012.
The number of NINo registrations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK from within the EU in the 12 months to December 2013 was 440,000, an increase of 97,000 (28%) on the previous year.
The proportion of NINos allocated to European Union Accession nationals (that is those of all 13 Accession countries including Croatia – see Glossary) in the year ending December 2013 is 38% (232,000). Recently the number allocated to Accession nationals has increased from 190,000 in the year ending December 2012, an increase of 43,000 (23%) (Note totals may not sum due to rounding). Approximately half of the total allocated to Accession nationals (111,000) were allocated to Polish nationals, for whom the number of registrations has increased by 31,000 (39%) compared to the previous year. Accession nationals accounted for 46% of all allocations to adult overseas nationals when the figures peaked in the year ending December 2007 at 368,000.
The number of NINo registrations allocated to adult overseas nationals entering the UK from outside the EU in the 12 months to December 2013 was 177,000, a figure which although similar to the previous year, has been declining and now stands at approximately half the peak of 344,000 in the year ending March 2011 (Figure 3.15).
Table 2 shows the top 20 nationalities for National Insurance number (NINo) allocations to adult overseas nationals for 2012 and 2013. There have been noticeable increases in NINo allocations to citizens of Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, the Republic of Ireland, Germany and Greece within the EU15. Polish citizens were allocated the largest number of NINos in 2013 at 111,000, a 39% increase on the number allocated in 2012.
|2012||2013||Difference||% Change to previous year|
|Non European Union||175.98||176.72||0.74||0%|
|Rep of Lithuania||26.24||25.83||-0.41||-2%|
|Rep of Ireland||14.71||17.41||2.70||18%|
|Rep of Latvia||13.02||13.19||0.17||1%|
|China Peoples Rep||11.69||12.06||0.37||3%|
Please note that:
The number of new registrations of NINos to non-UK nationals over a given period is not the same as the total number of non-UK nationals who hold a NINo
The total number of non-UK nationals who have been allocated a NINo is not the same as the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK. This is because people who have been allocated NINos may subsequently have left the UK, or they may still be in the UK but have ceased to be in employment
Some people arriving into the UK may already hold a NINo from a previous stay in the UK. Once a person has been allocated a NINo, they do not need to reapply in order to work in the UK.
This section contains the latest available figures on emigration from the UK by reason.
In the latest available provisional LTIM estimates for the year ending September 2013, work-related reasons continue to be the main reason given for emigration and account for 58% of emigrants. An estimated 187,000 people emigrated from the UK for work-related reasons in the year ending September 2013. This is similar to the year ending September 2012 when 198,000 people emigrated for work-related reasons (Figure 3.2).
In the year ending September 2013, of those 187,000 emigrants leaving for work-related reasons, 114,000 (61%) left for a definite job, lower than the estimated 127,000 (64%) in the year ending September 2012. The remaining 73,000 (39%) left to look for work. The relative proportions of definite job and looking for work have remained fairly constant over time.
The numbers of British citizens emigrating was estimated at 138,000 for the year ending September 2013. IPS data show that migration patterns of British citizens have been driven by the number of British citizens leaving the UK for work-related reasons (76,000 in the year ending September 2013), which is just over half (59%) of all British emigrants.
Home Office Research Report 68, published in November 2012, presents information from academic research and surveys drawn together to present key aspects of long-term emigration from the United Kingdom. This includes recent outward migration and some trends over the last twenty years, separately for British, European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens.
The report considers where emigrants go, how long for, and their motivations. The evidence suggests emigration is mainly for work, and that key destinations for British citizens are Australia, Spain, the United States, and France. Reasons and drivers for emigration from the UK appear to vary across citizenship groups. While many factors influence emigration, British and EU citizen emigration appears to be associated with changes in unemployment and exchange rates. This is less apparent for non-EU citizens.
The following are URL links to the products underlying this report, or otherwise associated with the co-ordinated migration release of 27 February 2014. The department releasing each product is indicated.
The user information (309.1 Kb Pdf) sheet includes guidance on comparing the data sources, and quality information (ONS).
Immigration Statistics October-December 2013 (Home Office)
Provisional Long-Term International Migration, year ending September 2013 (ONS)
National Insurance Number (NINo) Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals to December 2013 (DWP)
Labour Market Statistics - February 2014 (ONS). This includes estimates of the number of people in employment in the UK by country of birth and nationality.
Migrant Journey report 4 (Home Office).
Thursday 22 May 2014
Thursday 28 August 2014
Thursday 27 November 2014.
The final long-term international migration figures for the calendar year 2013 will be published in November 2014.
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a continuous household survey, covering the UK, with the aim of providing estimates between censuses of key social and labour market variables at a local area level. The APS is not a stand-alone survey, but uses data combined from two waves from the main Labour Force Survey (LFS) with data collected on a local sample boost. Apart from employment and unemployment, the topics covered in the survey include housing, ethnicity, religion, health and education.
This is the term used in the International Passenger Survey (IPS) to define the country for which a migrant is a passport holder. This refers specifically to the passport being used to enter / leave the UK at the time of interview. It does not refer to any other passport(s) which migrants of multiple nationality may hold.
More generally a British citizen as described in IPS statistics includes those with UK nationality usually through a connection with the UK: birth, adoption, descent, registration, or naturalisation. British nationals have the right of abode in the UK.
The Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of countries of the Old Commonwealth and the New Commonwealth (see below).
This is the range within which the true value of a population parameter lies with known probability. For example the 95% confidence interval represents the range in which there are 19 chances out of 20 that the true figure would fall (had all migrants been surveyed). The uppermost and lowermost values of the confidence interval are termed ‘confidence limits’.
The EEA consists of the 27 countries of the EU (see below), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Swiss nationals are treated as EEA nationals for immigration purposes.
The EU consists of 28 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Croatia joined the EU in July 2013 - data with a reference period after that date will include Croatia within the EU grouping.
The Accession countries are those that joined the EU in 2004 or later. Ten joined in 2004 (the EU8, plus Cyprus and Malta), two joined in 2007 (the EU2) and Croatia joined in 2013.
The EU2 (formerly known as the A2) are the two countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania. Between 2007 and 2013, EU2 nationals had certain restrictions placed on them; in the first 12 months of stay, working Bulgarian and Romanian nationals were generally required to hold an accession worker card or apply for one of two lower-skilled quota schemes. Other Bulgarian and Romanian nationals could apply for a registration certificate, giving proof of a right to live in the UK. These restrictions were lifted on 1 January 2014.
The EU8 (formerly known as the A8) are the eight central and eastern European countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The EU8 does not include the two other countries that joined on that date: Cyprus and Malta. EU8 nationals previously had restrictions on their rights to work and were required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme, but these restrictions were lifted from 1 May 2011.
The EU15 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The International Passenger Survey (IPS) is a survey of a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel. Between 700,000 and 800,000 people are interviewed on the IPS each year. Of those interviewed, approximately 4,000-5,000 people each year are identified as long-term international migrants.
Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates are produced by combining migration data from the IPS, Home Office data on asylum seekers, migration to and from Northern Ireland (from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) and adjustments for visitor switchers and migrant switchers.
Nationality is often used interchangeably with citizenship, and some datasets refer to ‘nationals’ of a country rather than ‘citizens’. Different datasets have different ways of establishing someone’s nationality. The APS, which underlies the population estimates by nationality, simply asks people ‘what is your nationality?’ However, the IPS, NINo and entry clearance visa data are based on people’s passports. For asylum statistics the nationality is as stated on the ‘Case Information Database’. This will usually be based on documentary evidence, but sometimes asylum seekers arrive in the UK without any such documentation.
The New Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of African Commonwealth countries (Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe), Indian subcontinent countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), and other Commonwealth countries in the Asian, Caribbean, and Oceania regions.
It also includes British Dependent Territories and British Overseas citizens. Up to and including 2003 Malta and Cyprus are included in the New Commonwealth grouping. For 2004, the year of accession, they are included in the EU. Malta and Cyprus are members of both the Commonwealth and the European Union from May 2004 onwards. However, for estimation purposes they have only been included in the EU grouping for 2004 onwards.
Rwanda was admitted to the Commonwealth in November 2009, but the definition for this statistical grouping has remained unchanged. Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in December 2003, but again the definition for this grouping also remained unchanged following this.
The Old Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of four countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
The PBS is a rationalisation of immigration control processes for people coming into the UK for the purposes of work or study who are not EEA or Swiss nationals. Entries are classed into five tiers. Tier 1 is for high value individuals such as investors and entrepreneurs. Tier 2 is for skilled workers with a job offer. Tier 3 is low skilled workers – this entry route was never opened and is currently suspended. Tier 4 is for students and Tier 5 is for youth mobility and temporary workers.
The International Passenger Survey interviews a sample of passengers passing through ports within the UK. As with all sample surveys, the estimates produced from them are based upon one of a number of different samples that could have been drawn at that point in time. This means that there is a degree of variability around the estimates produced. This variability sometimes may present misleading changes in figures as a result of the random selection of those included in the sample. If a change or a difference between estimates is described as 'statistically significant', it means that statistical tests have been carried out to reject the possibility that the change has occurred by chance. Therefore statistically significant changes are very likely to reflect real changes in migration patterns.
Standard error is an estimate of the margin of error associated with a sample survey
The student visitor category provides for those people who wish to come to the UK as a visitor and undertake a short period of study which will be completed within the period of their leave (maximum six months unless applying under the concession for English language courses – 11 months). Short-term students (i.e. those studying on courses of six months duration or less) who do not intend to work part-time or undertake a paid or unpaid work placement as part of their course can also apply within this category.
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