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Statistical bulletin: Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 23 May 2013 Download PDF

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2013

  • Latest provisional data show that there was a net flow of 153,000 migrants to the UK in the year ending September 2012, which is significantly lower than the net flow of 242,000 in the year ending September 2011.
  • 500,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending September 2012, which is significantly lower than the 581,000 who migrated the previous year. This decrease has caused the fall in net migration.
  • 347,000 emigrants left the UK in the year ending September 2012, similar to the estimate of 339,000 in the year to September 2011.
  • There was a decrease in the number of citizens immigrating to the UK from New Commonwealth countries. 105,000 citizens of New Commonwealth countries immigrated to the UK in the year ending September 2012; significantly lower than 166,000 the previous year.
  • 190,000 migrants arrived to study in the year to September 2012, which is significantly lower than 246,000 in the previous year. Study remains the most common reason stated for migrating to the UK.
  • There was a significant decrease in the number of migrants arriving whose main reason was to accompany or join others. This fell to 62,000 in the year ending September 2012, from 80,000 in the year ending September 2011.
  • Excluding visitor and transit visas, the number of visas issued fell 6% to 499,780 in the year ending March 2013 (compared with 529,905 in the previous 12 months), the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005.
  • In the year to March 2013, there were 206,814 visas issued for the purpose of study (excluding student visitors), a fall of 9% compared with the previous 12 months.
  • Sponsored student visas applications fell 10% in the year ending March 2013. This change was not uniform, with a 5% increase for the university sector and falls of 46%, 46% and 7% for further education, English language schools and independent schools, respectively.

Introduction

Welcome to the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (MSQR).  The MSQR series brings together statistics on migration that are published quarterly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Home Office and annually by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

There is significant interest in migration statistics both nationally and internationally and there is a need to understand how moves impact on society and the economy.  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.  Additionally, migration statistics are essential to the current government in monitoring how they are performing against their stated aim of reducing annual net migration. 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 Releases. (145.2 Kb Pdf)

The Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) datasets use the UN definition of a long-term international migrant being someone who moves from their country of previous residence for a period of at least a year. This report includes Home Office visa data where applicable, which indicate migration to the UK of citizens from outside the EU. Student visitors are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course) and cannot extend their stay. Excluding such short term migrants from the study-related visas granted data provides a better comparison with LTIM long-term immigration data. . Also published today in a separate bulletin are short term estimates of international migration.

In 2012 confidence intervals (45.4 Kb Pdf) were introduced to accompany estimates based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). These confidence intervals provide information on the statistical uncertainty of estimates that are based on a sample survey. The sample of passengers included in the IPS is subject to random variation (as the sample selected is one of a number of samples that could have been selected). Therefore differences between estimates could be due to a real change in migration patterns or the fact that the sample of passengers interviewed was different by chance. This publication reports on differences in estimates that have been checked for statistical significance (45.4 Kb Pdf) . This is a statistical procedure that examines the variation associated with survey-based estimates and determines if differences are likely to be a real change or could have occurred by chance. More information on the quality of the IPS can be found in 'International Passenger Survey: Quality Information in Relation to Migration Flows' (406.5 Kb Pdf) .

Guidance on comparing data from different sources can be found in the MSQR Information for Users (304.5 Kb Pdf) and web links are provided at the back of the report for those who wish to access the underlying datasets. This product includes a useful diagram and table that clarify the differences between the migration statistics produced from Home Office, DWP and ONS data sources.

Summary statistics

This summary section includes the key messages on immigration, emigration and net migration and what has been causing recent changes in these flows.

Latest changes in Migration

Net migration decreased in the year ending September 2012 to 153,000 from 242,000 in the year to September previously. This decline is due to significant decreases in immigration, while emigration has shown a small change that is not significant, from 339,000 to 347,000. Previously, in the years 2008 to 2010, changes in net migration were driven by changes in emigration, while immigration remained steady. Since 2011 declining immigration has been the main cause of changes in net migration.

Provisional LTIM estimates show that total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to September 2012 was 500,000, a statistically significant difference from 581,000 in the year to September 2011. This continues a recent decline in immigration and is now the lowest estimated inflow since the year ending December 2001 when it was 481,000. Immigration peaked at 600,000 in the year ending September 2010. Home Office data on the numbers of visas (excluding visitor and transit visas) issued also show a decline to the year ending March 2013 (though at a reduced rate as compared with the year ending September 2012), which suggests that the LTIM estimates of immigration of non-EU citizens may also continue to show a decline. The number of visas issued fell to 499,780 in the year ending March 2013; the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005. This was 6% lower than the year ending March 2012 (529,905).

Changes in Study

Study continues to be the most common reason for migrating to the UK, although it has seen a recent significant decrease to 190,000 in the year ending September 2012 from 246,000 the previous year.  In comparison, the second most common reason for migrating to the UK, work related, has remained relatively steady.

The latest data on study visas issued, (excluding student visitors, but which can also include people intending to stay in the UK for less than a year) show that in the year to March 2013, there were 206,814 visas issued for the purpose of study, which was a fall of 9% compared with the previous 12 months. There was also a 10% fall for sponsored student visa applications to 207,751 in the year ending March 2013. This change was not uniform, with a 5% increase for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions) and falls of 46%, 46% and 7% respectively for the further education sector (tertiary, further education or other colleges), English language schools and independent schools.

There was a significant decrease in the number of citizens of New Commonwealth countries immigrating to the UK, from 166,000 the previous year to 105,000 in the year ending September 2012. This decrease is as a result of fewer New Commonwealth citizens arriving to study in the UK. This group contributed to the statistically significant decrease in the net flow of non-EU citizens to 162,000 in the year ending September 2012 from 228,000 the previous year.

Changes in work related migration

There was no significant change in the total numbers of people who arrived in or left the UK for work related reasons. In the year to September 2012, 175,000 people migrated to the UK for work, which is lower, but not significantly different from 183,000 the year previously and 201,000 emigrated for work related reasons compared to the 191,000 the year previously.

IPS data (which excludes the adjustments made to derive LTIM (45.4 Kb Pdf) ) show that the slight increase in emigration for work related reasons is due to significantly more New Commonwealth citizens (30,000 in the year ending September 2012, up from 24,000 the previous year) and more British citizens, (81,000 compared to 73,000 the previous year). In contrast, 12,000 Old Commonwealth citizens emigrated for work related reasons in the year ending September 2012, significantly fewer than 17,000 the previous year. Approximately half of those emigrating for a definite job are British.

The latest data on visas issued to live, work and study in the UK, which can also include people intending to stay in the UK for less than a year, show 141,800 work related visas were issued in the year to March 2013, a fall of 5% compared with the previous 12 months.

Further information on these data is available in section 5 of this report.

1. What are the latest total figures of international migration?

This section shows the latest available figures from the following sources:

  1. Provisional long-term international migration figures in the year to September 2012.

  2. Entry clearance visas issued by the Home Office up to March 2013.

1.1 Provisional long-term international migration figures

The provisional estimate of total long-term international immigration to the UK in the year to September 2012 was 500,000. This was significantly lower than the estimate of 581,000 in the year to September 2011. (Figure 1.1)

The provisional estimate of total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to September 2012 was 347,000, similar to 339,000 in the year to September 2011 but significantly lower than the year to December 2008, when total emigration from the UK peaked at an estimated 427,000. (Figure 1.1)

The provisional estimate of net long-term migration to the UK in the year to September 2012 was 153,000 (Figure 1.1). This is significantly lower than the 242,000 in the year to September 2011. This difference has been caused by a lower immigration and a higher emigration estimate than the previous year. The highest recorded figure for net migration was in the year to June 2005 when it reached 260,000.

Figure 1.1: Latest total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 2002–2012

Latest total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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1.2 Entry clearance visas

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 fell to 499,780 in the year ending March 2013, the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005. This was 6% lower than the year ending March 2012 (529,905).

Excluding visitor and transit visas, the number of visas issued fell to 499,780 in the year ending March 2013, the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005. This was 6% lower than the year ending March 2012 (529,905).

2. Who is migrating to and from the UK?

This section contains latest available data of migration to and from the UK by citizenship. Using data from ONS Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) it explores the different patterns in migration flows by citizenship that together influence the total patterns in migration flows. It focuses on:

  • British and non-British citizens (that sum to total UK migration flows)

  • EU (excluding British) and non-EU citizens

  • EU8 citizens (that are a subset of EU migration flows)

2.1 British citizens

Provisional long-term international migration estimates by citizenship show that in the year to September 2012 the estimated number of British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK was 79,000 similar to the year to September 2011, when it was estimated that 81,000 British citizens immigrated.  The estimated number of British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK in the year to September 2012 was 154,000, which is similar to 142,000 in the year to September 2011 (Figure 2.11).  Net migration of British citizens was -75,000 in the year ending September 2012. This means that 75,000 more British citizens left the UK than arrived during that year. This is not significantly different from -60,000 in the year ending September 2011.

Figure 2.11: Long-term international migration estimates of British citizens, UK, 2002–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of British citizens, UK, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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Non-British citizens

The estimated number of non-British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to September 2012 was 421,000, 16% lower than the estimate of 500,000 for the year to September 2011. The estimated number of non-British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK was 193,000, similar to the estimate of 197,000 in the year to September 2011. (Figure 2.12) The effect of these flows means that net migration of Non-British citizens has significantly decreased from 303,000 in the year ending September 2011 to 228,000 in the year ending September 2012.

Figure 2.12: Long-term international migration estimates of non-British citizens, UK, 2002 –2012

Long-term international migration estimates of non-British citizens, UK, 2002 –2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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2.2 EU citizens

An estimated 148,000 citizens from the EU (excluding British) migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2012, similar to the estimate of 166,000 in the year ending September 2011. Inflows of EU citizens have been similar since mid 2010. The estimated number of EU citizens (excluding British) emigrating from the UK was 83,000 in the year ending September 2012, again similar to the estimate of 91,000 emigrating in the year ending September 2011. (Figure 2.21). Net migration of EU citizens in the year ending September 2012 was 66,000, similar to 75,000 the previous year.

Figure 2.21 Long-term international migration estimates of EU citizens (excluding British) UK, 2002–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of EU citizens (excluding British) UK, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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In May 2004, eight central and eastern European countries joined the EU with rights to work in the UK. The estimated number of citizens of the EU8 countries immigrating long-term to the UK in the year ending September 2012 was 58,000, similar to the estimate of 75,000 in the year to September 2011. The estimated number of EU8 citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to September 2012 was 30,000, similar to the estimate of 39,000 in the year to September 2011. (Figure 2.22).  Net migration of EU8 citizens in the year ending September 2012 was 28,000, similar to 36,000 the previous year.


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 experienced an increase in international immigration in 2011 that has continued into 2012. For information on this see 'Immigration to Germany still high in 2012’ on the DeStatis website.

Figure 2.22: Long-term international migration estimates of EU8 citizens, UK, 2004–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of EU8 citizens, UK, 2004–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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2.3 Non-EU citizens

The estimated number of non-EU citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to September 2012 was 273,000, compared with the estimate of 334,000 in the year to September 2011. The estimated number of non-EU citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to September 2012 was 111,000, similar to the estimate of 106,000 in the year to September 2011. The resulting change in net migration of non-EU citizens from an estimated 228,000 in the year ending September 2011 to 162,000 in the year to September 2012 is a statistically significant decrease.  (Figure 2.3)

Figure 2.3: Long-term international migration estimates of non-EU Citizens, UK, 2002–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of non-EU Citizens, UK, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals.

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The decrease in immigration of non-EU citizens has been largely due to significant falls in people arriving from the New Commonwealth for study. IPS data (which excludes the adjustments made to derive LTIM (45.4 Kb Pdf) ) shows an estimated 54,000 New Commonwealth citizens arrived for study in the year to September 2012, which is significantly lower that the estimate of 105,000 who arrived in the year to September 2011. There was also a statistically significant decrease in the number of New Commonwealth citizens arriving to accompany or join relatives, from 33,000 in the year ending September 2011 to 22,000 in the year ending September 2012.

2.4 Entry clearance visas issued - by world area

Administrative data on entry clearance visas provide information on the nationality of those who are migrating to the UK, though they relate to those subject to immigration control, so normally exclude EU nationals and some others (see section 1.2).

Figure 2.4: Entry clearance visas issued (excluding visitor and transit visas), by world area, UK, 2005–2013

Entry clearance visas issued (excluding visitor and transit visas), by world area, UK, 2005–2013
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. A small number (one to two thousand per year excluding visitor and transit visas) of Home Office visas cannot be ascribed to a world area and are categories as ‘Other’. This category does not appear in the above chart.
  2. European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not require a visa to enter the UK. However some EEA nationals do apply and are issued with visas.

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Source: Home Office Immigration Statistics January-March 2013  

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 the recent fluctuations in visa numbers have also been driven by Asian nationals. Asian nationals account for 266,400 (53%) of the 499,780 visas issued in the year ending March 2013, with India and China each accounting for 15% of the total. Between the year ending March 2012 and year ending March 2013, the nationalities with particularly large changes in visas issued were Pakistanis (-15,815 or -39%), Indians (-10,050 or -12%) and Chinese (+5,943 or +9%).

The above figures exclude visitor and transit visas but will include some individuals who do not plan to move to the UK for a year or more. Nevertheless, recent trends have provided a good leading indicator for trends in non-EU immigration. Data on entry clearance visas also provides information on reasons why people are migrating, as detailed in Section 3.  The data in this section is based on a cross-tabulation of visa data published for the first time this quarter. This allows users to tabulate quarterly trends for separate categories of visas by individual nationality.

3. Why are people migrating to and from the UK?

3.1 People arriving in the UK

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 Information for Users. (304.5 Kb Pdf)

Provisional LTIM for the year ending September 2012 continues to demonstrate that the most common reason given for migrating to the UK is formal study. An estimated 190,000 long-term migrants arrived to the UK for formal study in the year to September 2012, which is significantly lower than the estimate of 246,000 in the year to September 2011. (Figure 3.11)

Work related reasons are the next most common reason given for migration to the UK. 175,000 migrants arrived for work related reasons in the year to September 2012. This is similar to the estimate of 183,000 in the year to September 2011 but significantly lower than the peak of 246,000 in the year to December 2005. (Figure 3.11) An extra source of information is the Labour Market Statistical release that on a quarterly basis provides estimates of numbers employed and employment rates by broad country of birth and nationality groupings (though these estimates of numbers employed should not be used as a proxy for flows of foreign migrants into the UK).

The third most common reason for migrating to the UK is to accompany/join. Numbers of migrants arriving to the UK to accompany or join relatives have shown a significant decrease to 62,000 in the year to September 2012, from an estimate of 80,000 who migrated for this reason the year previously.  (Figure 3.11)

Figure 3.11: Long-term international migration estimates of immigration to the UK, by main reason for migration, 2002–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of immigration to the UK, by main reason for migration, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available annually.
  3. Acc/Join means accompanying or joining.

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Entry clearance visas

Excluding visitor and transit visas, most entry clearance 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 (45.4 Kb Pdf) . Entry clearance visas also include those for family reasons.

The numbers of entry clearance visas issued for the purposes of work, study (excluding student visitors) and family reasons have all continued to fall, falling 5%, 9% and 16% respectively for the year ending March 2013 (to 141,800, 206,814, and 37,470). Recent falls in the number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study are consistent with changes to the rules governing visas issued for work from December 2010 and for study from July 2011. They are also broadly consistent with recent downward trends in the LTIM measure of non-EU immigration, though extend six months beyond the period covered by the latest LTIM estimates.

Figure 3.12: UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, by reason (excluding visitor and transit visas), 2005–2013

UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, by reason (excluding visitor and transit visas), 2005–2013
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Excludes student visitors who are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course) and cannot extend their stay.
  2. The Student visitor category provides for persons who wish to come to the UK as a visitor and undertake a short period of study that will be completed within the period of their leave. It includes those who applied on the 'Short-term student' endorsement prior to the introduction of the ‘Student visitor’ endorsement in September 2007.

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Source: Home Office Immigration Statistics January-March 2013 

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, reaching 227,873 in the year ending June 2009, after which it increased sharply, peaking at 320,183 in the year ending June 2010, a rise of 41% on a year earlier. Following this peak there has been a fall in the number of visas issued for the purposes of study (excluding student visitors) to 206,814 in the year ending March 2013, 9% lower than the 226,559 in the year to March 2012 (Figure 3.12).

The 19,745 (-9%) fall in study visas issued (excluding student visitors) was more than accounted for by falls in Pakistani (-14,413, -62%) and Indian (-9,827, -38%) nationals. However, there were some notable increases, including an increase of 5,476 (+10%) for Chinese nationals.

By contrast, there was a 6% increase in student visit visas issued to 69,542 in the year ending March 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 provides a better comparison with LTIM long-term immigration data.

In the year ending March 2013, there were 207,751 sponsored study visa applications (main applicants), a fall of 10% compared with the previous 12 months. This comprised an increase of 5% for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions, to 157,241), offset by falls of 46%, 46% and 7% respectively in the Further Education sector (Tertiary, further education or other colleges to 29,731), English language schools (to 3,470) and independent schools (to 13,798).

As a consequence, the share of visa applications for the university sector rose from 65% to 76% over the same period, whilst the shares for the Further Education sector and for English language schools fell respectively from 24% to 14%, and from 3% to 2%.

Figure 3.13: Study-related sponsored visa applications by sector, 2010-2013

Study-related sponsored visa applications by sector, 2010-2013
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. The numbers show the use of a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) in a study visa application.
  2. Universities are 'recognised bodies' (meaning that it has its own UK degree-awarding powers), or bodies in receipt of public funding as a Higher Education Institute (HEI). Institutions (including further education colleges) which receive some public funding to deliver higher education courses do not fall within this definition of an HEI. They are UK-based. Further education contains the remainder of sponsors who described themselves as ‘University and tertiary’, plus those who described themselves as ‘Private Institution of Further or Higher Education’ or whose self-description included ‘Further Education’ or ‘Higher Education’. Includes a small number of foreign based universities but these account for very small numbers of CAS used.
  3. The chart excludes sponsored visa applications from a small number of other sponsors.

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Source: Home Office Immigration Statistics January-March 2013 

Of the entry clearance visas issued in the year ending March 2013, a total of 141,800 were work related. This was a decrease of 5% on 148,589 in the year ending March 2012. The data series starts at the year ending December 2005.

The highest number of entry clearance visas issued for work related reasons was 249,634 in the year ending December 2006. This figure then declined gradually to 152,993 in the year ending March 2010. Following which the number of entry clearance visas issued for the purposes of work rose slightly to 161,809 in the year ending March 2011. The figure has since decreased to the lowest recorded since the series started in 2005.

More detailed information on work related visas issued by ‘Tier’, previously included in this bulletin, can be found in the latest Home Office briefings on immigration for work (details below).

The latest Home Office briefings on immigration for work, study, family and of EEA nationals are available.

In addition to the visas information, the Home Office has released provisional quarterly figures up to March 2013 on applications for asylum and grants of settlement. The settlement figures relate only to those people who are subject to immigration control and do not cover EEA and Swiss nationals.

Asylum figures in this section relate to individual quarters rather than the rolling years used elsewhere in this report.

The number of applications for asylum, excluding dependants, was 17% higher in Q1 2013 (5,625) compared with Q1 2012 (4,818) (Figure 3.14).

Figure 3.14: Applications for asylum in the UK, excluding dependants, 2004-2013

Applications for asylum in the UK, excluding dependants, 2004-2013
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Figures from 2011 onwards are provisional and subject to change.

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Source: Home Office Immigration Statistics January-March 2013

Comparing the year ending March 2012 with the year ending March 2013, the number of people granted settlement in the UK fell by 9% from 150,877 to 137,394. Work related grants fell by 14% to 61,326 and other grants, including those on a discretionary basis, fell by 46% to 8,584. Asylum-related grants increased by 11% to 14,226 and family formation and reunion grants increased by 4% to 53,258 (Figure 3.15).

Figure 3.15: Grants of settlement, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals, 2005–2013

Grants of settlement, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals, 2005–2013
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Figures from YE Mar 11 onwards are provisional and subject to change.
  2. Romanians and Bulgarians (EU2) are excluded from Q1 2007 onwards.
  3. Changes in policy affect settlement trends. For further details see the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics. This is available on the same webpage as the Immigration Statistics publication (see list of products).
  4. 'Others’ includes people granted indefinite leave outside the immigration rules under measures aimed at clearing the backlog of cases from before March 2007 involving unsuccessful asylum applicants, and grants where the category is unknown.

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Source: Home Office  Immigration Statistics January-March 2013 

Migrant Journey Third Report (Home Office Research Report 69) provides evidence on the behaviour of migrants entering the UK immigration system for the five main routes of entry to the UK and the common pathways through the Immigration System that result in settlement.


This third report follows on from ‘The Migrant Journey’ and ‘The Migrant Journey: Second Report’, by providing new analysis on two further cohorts of migrants granted entry clearance visas in 2005 and 2006 and migrants granted settlement in 2010 and 2011. The report also provides updated estimates for the previously published 2004 and 2009 cohorts.

3.2 People emigrating from the UK

This section contains the latest available figures on emigration from the UK by reason.

In the latest available provisional estimates, work related reasons continue to be the main reasons given for emigration and account for 58% of emigrants. An estimated 201,000 people emigrated from the UK for work related reasons in the year ending September 2012, similar to the estimate of 191,000 in the year ending September 2011 (Figure 3.2). Of these an estimated 128,000 (64%) left for a definite job, similar to the estimate of 115,000 (60%) in the year to September 2011. The remaining 36% in the year to September 2012 and 40% in the year to September 2011 left to look for work. The proportions of definite job/look for work have remained fairly constant over time.

The estimated numbers of British citizens emigrating reached a low of 128,000 in June 2010. Since then the estimated number of British citizens emigrating has increased to 154,000 in the year to September 2012. IPS data (which excludes the adjustments made to derive LTIM (45.4 Kb Pdf) ) shows that migration patterns of British citizens have been driven by the number of British citizens leaving the UK for work related reasons, which is just over half (55%) of all British emigrants.

Figure 3.2: Long-term international migration estimates of emigration from the UK, by main reason, 2002–2012

Long-term international migration estimates of emigration from the UK, by main reason, 2002–2012
Source: Long-term International Migration - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 12, YE Jun 12 and YE Sep 12 are provisional.
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available annually.
  3. It should be noted that reasons for emigration will not necessarily match reasons for intended immigration. For example, someone arriving for study may then leave the UK after their course for work related reasons.
  4. Acc/Join means accompanying or joining.

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4. Summary of other releases

Other migration and population products published on 23 May 2013 include:

Long-term international migration within the UK is highlighted on the Population theme page on the ONS website.

  • Short story on seasonal migration. This article examines how patterns of long-term international migration vary at different times of the year.

  • Short-term international migration annual report (STIMAR). This statistical bulletin contains estimates of short-term international migration to and from the UK for England and Wales. It examines the latest figures for the year ending mid-2011 (1st July 2010 to 30th June 2011) Also included are local authority short-term international immigration estimates and data from the Home Office on the number of short-term entry clearance visas issued.

5. Understanding long-term international migration and provisional estimates

The estimates presented by ONS contain final LTIM and IPS data for all quarters to December 2011 and provisional LTIM data for the year ending, March 2012, June 2012 and September 2012. Final LTIM data for 2012 will be published in November 2013.
 
Provisional figures allow for a timely comparison of recent migration patterns on a quarterly basis. However, these are subject to change as their calculation is based upon provisional data. The final LTIM estimates are considered to provide a more reliable picture of migration and allow for annual comparisons over time.
 
Patterns of long-term immigration and emigration differ due to a number of factors that affect particular nationalities including: visa requirements, economic factors and government policies. For example, different visa restrictions apply to different nationalities. The latest visa restrictions, which include changes in the rules governing entry clearance visas issued for work and study from December 2010 and July 2011 respectively, affect those citizens outside the EU applying to work or study in the UK. Any analysis of migration patterns needs to consider these factors when identifying and explaining key messages. Further guidance on comparing different data sources can be found in the MSQR Information for Users (304.5 Kb Pdf) .

An overview of population statistics is produced by ONS. This includes information on migration statistics.

6. Glossary

Citizenship

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 citizenship may hold.

More generally a British citizen is someone with citizenship usually through a connection with the UK: birth, adoption, descent, registration, or naturalisation. British citizens have the right of abode in the UK.

Commonwealth (ONS Statistical Grouping)

The Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of countries of the Old Commonwealth and the New Commonwealth (see below).

Confidence interval

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’.

European Economic Area (EEA)

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.

European Union (EU)

The EU consists of 27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, 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.

European Union (EU) Accession countries

The Accession countries are those that joined the EU in either 2004 or 2007. Ten joined in 2004 (the EU8, plus Cyprus and Malta), and two joined in 2007 (the EU2).

EU2

The EU2 (formerly known as the A2) are the two countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania. EU2 nationals currently have certain restrictions placed on them; in the first 12 months of stay, working Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are generally required to hold an accession worker card or apply for one of two lower-skilled quota schemes. Other Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can apply for a registration certificate, giving proof of a right to live in the UK.

EU8

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 since 1 May 2011 EU8 nationals now have the same rights as other workers from the EU and EEA.

Grant of settlement

A grant of settlement is a grant of indefinite leave to enter (on arrival) or indefinite leave to remain (after entry) to a non-EEA national.

International Passenger Survey (IPS)

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. Over a quarter of a million face-to-face interviews are carried out each year. The IPS is carried out by ONS.

Long-Term International Migration (LTIM)

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

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, WRS, 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.

New Commonwealth (ONS Statistical Grouping)

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.

Old Commonwealth (ONS Statistical Grouping)

The Old Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of four countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Points Based System (PBS) 

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 highly skilled workers. 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.

Statistical Significance

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 'significant', it means that statistical tests have been carried out to reject the possibility that the change has occurred by chance. Therefore significant changes are very likely to reflect real changes in migration patterns.

Standard error

Standard error is an estimate of the margin of error associated with a sample survey.

Worker Registration Scheme (WRS)

The WRS closed on 30 April 2011; it was a scheme with which EU8 nationals were required to register if they wished to take up employment in the UK. Self-employed workers did not need to register with the WRS.

7. List of products

The following are URL links to the products underlying this report, or otherwise associated with the co-ordinated migration release of 23 May 2013. The department releasing each product is indicated.

MSQR Information for Users (304.5 Kb Pdf) includes guidance on comparing the data sources, and quality information (ONS)
Quality and Methodology Information for International Migration (145.2 Kb Pdf) (ONS)
International Passenger Survey: Quality Information in Relation to Migration Flows (406.5 Kb Pdf) (ONS)

 Quarterly releases on 23 May 2013:

  1. Immigration Statistics January-March 2013 (Home Office) 

  2. Provisional Long-Term International Migration, year ending September 2012 (567 Kb Excel sheet) (ONS)

Also published on 23 May 2013:

  1. Short story on seasonal migration (ONS)

  2. Short-term international migration annual report (ONS)

 

Published on 15 May 2013:

Labour Market Statistics May 2013 (ONS). This includes estimates of the number of people in employment in the UK by country of birth and nationality. 

Published on 29 November 2012

  1. The International Migration Timeline (ONS)

  2. Final Long-Term International Migration 2011 (ONS)


Published on 30 August 2012:

  1. Local Area Migration Indicators data (6.6 Mb Excel sheet) (ONS)

  2. National Insurance Number (NINo) Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals to March 2012 (DWP)

  3. Population by Country of Birth and Nationality Report (ONS)

  4. Population by Country of Birth and Nationality tables (252 Kb Excel sheet) (ONS)

  5. Underlying Datasets for Country of Birth and Nationality tables (2.06 Mb Excel sheet) (ONS)

8. Future releases

The remaining quarterly migration release dates in 2013 are:

  • Thursday 29 August,

  • Thursday 28 November.

 The final long-term international migration figures for the calendar year 2012 will be published in November 2013.

9. Migration Statistics Improvement Programme

The Migration Statistics Improvement Programme closed in March 2012 and has published the Migration Statistics Improvement Programme Final Report (149.6 Kb Pdf) . The key achievements have been:

  1. Major improvements to the International Passenger Survey, significantly increasing the sample size and introducing coverage at new ports and airports to reflect the changing patterns of migration.

  2. Improved use of administrative data sources.

  3. Improved reporting of migration statistics through the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report. 

ONS has recently carried out a review of the benefits of the programme and a summary of how these benefits have been achieved is shown in the Migration Statistics Improvement Programme: Benefits Table (29.6 Kb Pdf)

Background notes

  1. The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report is produced in partnership with the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

    It also incorporates data supplied by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

  2. Terms and conditions             
                 
    A National Statistics publication     
             
                 
    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They are produced free from any political interference. The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.              
                 
    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics: 

    • meet identified user needs; 

    • are well explained and readily accessible

    • are produced according to sound methods, and 

    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

                 

  3. A list of those with Pre-release access (25.5 Kb Pdf) to the MSQR and associated migration products is available.



  4. Follow ONS on Twitter or Facebook or view our podcasts on YouTube.

  5. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Sarah Crofts +44 (0)1329 444097 Migration Statistics Unit migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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