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Why Did Emigrants Previously Arrive to Live in the UK? November 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 28 November 2013 Download PDF

Key Findings

  • In 2012, 69% (206,000) of all long-term migrants emigrating from the UK had previously immigrated to the UK for 12 months or more.

  • 67,000 emigrants had previously migrated to study in the UK. Of these, 85% had immigrated since 2008 and 73% were non-EU nationals.

  • 68,000 emigrants previously migrated to the UK for work-related reasons. Of these, 55% were EU nationals.

  • 16,000 emigrants previously migrated to the UK for family reasons; this is only 8% of all former immigrants who emigrated from the UK in 2012.

Introduction

International migration statistics are of significant interest to anyone wishing to understanding the impact of migration on society and the economy. They are a fundamental component of mid-year population estimates. They are used by central government, local government and the health sector for planning and monitoring service delivery, resource allocation and the economy. Additionally, migration statistics are essential to the current government in monitoring how they are performing against their target of reducing annual net migration to the tens of thousands by 2015.

This report focuses on why people migrate; specifically why people who are now emigrating previously immigrated to the UK. This is important information because it allows us to see in more detail how different groups of migrants contribute to overall net migration flows and the resident population of the UK. New data is now available from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) that identifies why emigrants previously migrated to the UK. These data were collected from January 2012 and provide a richer source of information for why people migrate. Prior to these new data, reason for migration was only collected for the journey that was currently taking place.  Therefore it was not possible to identify how many migrants emigrated from the UK having previously immigrated for a specific purpose, such as study or work.

All the estimates in the report refer to long-term migrants. Long-term migrants are people who change their country of usual residence for a period of at least 12 months. This definition is based on the definition used by the United Nations (UN). All the long-term migration estimates in this report are based on the IPS, which is a component of the more complete Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates published in the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (MSQR). IPS data allow for more detailed analysis. For more information, please refer to the Long-Term International Migration estimates methodology (1.24 Mb Pdf) .

This report looks at the total number of former immigrants to the UK, those who emigrated in 2012, and those who are still UK residents, their duration of stay in the UK, occupation and why people are now emigrating. Additionally there are sections that have a particular focus on migration for study and work.

Helping You Understand the Data in this Report

This report refers to the first year of available data on emigration by previous main reason for immigration, obtained from a new question added to the IPS in January 2012.

The data refer to people who left the UK in 2012. For example, someone who arrived in the UK in 2009 and left in 2011 would not be included.

The data presented in this report apply to non-UK born former immigrants. While it is possible that a former immigrant may have been born in the UK, this analysis focuses on non-UK born former immigrants, who made up 86% of all former immigrants who emigrated in 2012.

The data shown refer to a person’s main reason for migration. This may not be their only reason. For example, those migrating for family reasons after arrival may also study or work, those immigrating to study may also work (where permitted), and those immigrating to work may also study.

A person’s citizenship may change over time. In 2012, 194,209 people were granted British citizenship. Therefore, it is possible that a British citizen emigrating in 2012 may not have been a British citizen when they first immigrated in a previous year.

Parts of the report refer to other sources of international migration data. There are important definitional differences to consider between different data sources. For more information about these differences, please refer to the ONS report, Estimating International Migration: An exploration of the definitional differences between the Labour Force Survey, Annual Population Survey, International Passenger Survey and Long-Term International Migration (238.4 Kb Pdf) and the MSQR User Information (442.4 Kb Pdf) .

If you require further information or have any questions about the contents of this report, please contact the Migration Statistics Unit at: migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk 

1. How Many People Emigrating are Former Immigrants to the UK?

1.1. How many people emigrating are former immigrants to the UK?

In 2012, IPS estimates showed that 298,000 people emigrated from the UK. Of these, 69% (206,000) were people who had previously immigrated to the UK. To be counted as a former immigrant in these estimates, a person would have had:

  • To be living outside the UK for 12 months or more;

  • Then moved to the UK for 12 months or more; and

  • Now be intending to leave the UK for 12 months or more.

For more information about who the data in this report refer to, please refer to the section helping you understand the data in this report.

The remaining 31% (92,000) emigrating from the UK in 2012 were emigrating for the first time. This does not necessarily mean that they had never visited another country before; it means that they had never previously left the UK with an intention to stay away for 12 months or more, and so never established usual residence in another country, according to the United Nations (UN) definition of a long-term migrant.

For more information about the definitions of former immigrants and new emigrants, please refer to the glossary.

1.2. What citizenship do former immigrants hold?

IPS estimates of emigration by citizenship and previous main reason for immigration (for former immigrants), are available for the years ending December 2012, March 2013 and June 2013. However, given the estimates for all three time periods are very similar, and to maintain consistency with other data sources, this report analyses estimates for the year ending December 2012.

Figure 1.2.1: Former immigrants emigrating from the UK in 2012 by citizenship.

Figure 1.2.1: Former immigrants emigrating from the UK in 2012 by citizenship.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 1.2.1 shows that 1 in 5 former immigrants (21% or 44,000) emigrating from the UK in 2012 were British. If we assume that former immigrants emigrating are returning to their ‘home’ country, this may seem surprising; however, there are two probable explanations. Firstly, some British citizens have lived abroad for long periods of time before coming to live in the UK. These people may now be emigrating again to live abroad. Secondly, it is possible that people have immigrated to the UK, become British citizens while resident here and are now emigrating, for example to live abroad, look after relatives or take up retirement. In 2012, 194,209 people were granted British citizenship, although it is not possible to distinguish how many of these people previously immigrated to the UK by previous main reason for immigration. For more information about people granted British citizenship, please refer to the Home Office Immigration Statistics tables.

A further 1 in 5 former immigrants (22%, or 45,000) are Other Foreign citizens. The Other Foreign grouping includes a variety of different countries including some large nations, such  as the USA and China. There were fewer former immigrants from the Old Commonwealth (16,000) and New Commonwealth (34,000) countries. It should be noted that trends in emigration of former immigrants are likely to reflect, to some extent, recent immigration trends. Over the last decade, there has been consistently more immigration of non-EU citizens than there has been of EU citizens.

For EU citizens now emigrating, 19% of former immigrants (39,000) were EU15 citizens and 12% (25,000) were EU8 citizens.

For more information about which countries are included in the different country groupings, please refer to the glossary.

1.3. When did most former immigrants previously immigrate to the UK?

Figure 1.3.1: Former immigrants emigrating from the UK in 2012 by previous year of arrival and citizenship.

Figure 1.3.1: Former immigrants emigrating from the UK in 2012 by previous year of arrival and citizenship.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Those who did not state a year of arrival are not included in Figure 1.3.1.

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Of the 206,000 former immigrants who emigrated in 2012, approximately 2 in 3 (70% or 146,000) had immigrated in the previous five years; that is, between 2007 and 2011. Figure 1.3.1 shows that most former immigrants had previously immigrated quite recently, with 40,000 arriving in 2010 and 39,000 in 2011.

1.4. What were former immigrants doing before they emigrated?

The IPS collects data on respondents’ most recent occupation. Therefore, we can group former immigrants by the occupation they had prior to emigrating from the UK in 2012.

Figure 1.4.1: Former immigrants by occupation prior to emigration from the UK in 2012.

Figure 1.4.1: Former immigrants by occupation prior to emigration from the UK in 2012.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 1.4.1 shows that approximately 1 in 3 (34% or 71,000) former immigrants who emigrated in 2012 were employed in professional or managerial occupations. Around 1 in 4 (26% or 53,000) were employed in manual and clerical occupations. By comparison, IPS estimates of inflows by usual occupation prior to immigration for 2012 showed that 27% of immigrants had previously been employed in professional or managerial work and 22% in manual and clerical occupations. These figures include those employed in full- and part-time work. Table 3.13 provides IPS estimates of inflows by Citizenship by Usual Occupation Prior to Migration and Sex.

29% of former immigrants (60,000) were students prior to emigrating in 2012. However, this figure is unlikely to be representative of all students. This is because any students who also held part-time jobs whilst studying would be grouped according to the status of that part-time job in these data, rather than being grouped as a student. Therefore, we do not recommend using occupation data to analyse student migration. Table 3.23 provides estimates of long-term international migration by previous main reason for immigration and previous occupation prior to migration. Section 3 of this report provides a more detailed analysis of student migration.

1.5. Why are former immigrants now emigrating from the UK?

People’s reasons for immigrating to the UK are often different to their reasons for subsequently emigrating. The IPS asks respondents to provide their main reason for migrating to the UK; this does not necessarily make it their only reason for migrating. For example, a person could immigrate to the UK for the main reason of accompanying a partner, but also work whilst living here.

Figure 1.5.1: Emigration from the UK in 2012 by main reason.

Figure 1.5.1: Emigration from the UK in 2012 by main reason.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 1.5.1 shows that approximately 1 in 3 of all former immigrants (35% or 72,000) who emigrated in 2012 left to take up a definite job. This is similar to the 41% of new emigrants (38,000) who emigrated for a definite job. A further 1 in 4 (26% or 54,000) former immigrants emigrated to look for work. The third most common reason for emigration amongst former immigrants was to ‘return home’, accounting for 12% (26,000) of all former immigrants in 2012.

Accompanying or joining relatives (7%), studying a formal course (7%), ‘other’ reasons (7%) and no reason stated (6%) each accounted for a similar proportion of the total number of former immigrants emigrating from the UK in 2012. Although the numbers for accompanying or joining relatives and other reasons were similar for new emigrants (19,000 and 15,000 respectively), they accounted for a larger proportion of the total number of new emigrants (20% and 16% respectively).

2. How Many Former Immigrants are Still Living in the UK?

Whilst estimates from the IPS can provide detail about the former immigrants who have now emigrated from the UK, IPS data cannot provide information about immigrants who arrived and remain resident in the UK. Both the 2011 Census and the Annual Population Survey (APS) contain data about the non-UK born and non-UK national usually resident population. However, because it is available for 2012 at the UK level, as opposed to only England and Wales, data from the APS has been used to assess how many former immigrants were still living in the UK in 2012.

Figure 2.1: Usual residents of the UK in 2012 by most recent year of arrival.

Figure 2.1: Usual residents of the UK in 2012 by most recent year of arrival.
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures may not sum due to rounding and the inclusion of those with an unknown year of arrival in overall totals.

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In 2012, an estimated 1 in 8 (12%, or 7,679,000) usual residents were born outside of the UK. It should be noted that of this figure, 41% (3,156,000) had become British nationals.

Figure 2.1 shows that of non-UK born residents, 10% (771,000) had immigrated to the UK in 2010 or 2011. A further 26% of non-UK born residents (1,967,000) had immigrated between 2005 and 2009. This reflects increased immigration to the UK by those born in the EU8 countries, which joined the EU in May 2004. Of those usual residents who immigrated to the UK between 2005 and 2009, 31% were born in EU8 countries.

It is important to note that the APS does not include most people who are resident in communal establishments. This is particularly relevant to students living in halls of residence. 2011 Census data show that on Census day, there were 251,271 people aged between 16 and 24 living in communal establishments who were studying. Many of these will be migrants to the UK.

For more information about residents born outside the UK and non-UK citizens, please see the Population by Country of Birth and Nationality Report, August 2013 and the Detailed country of birth and nationality analysis from the 2011 Census of England and Wales.

3. Student Migration

For ease of presentation, the term ‘former international student’ has been used in this section. This term is applied to people migrating who report in the IPS that their previous main reason for immigration to the UK was for formal study. It is possible that these ‘former international students’ may also have worked, may not actually have studied, or could have attended a Further Education, Higher Education or other educational establishment whilst resident in the UK. For more information about who the data in this report refer to, please see the section helping you understand the data in this report.

3.1. How many people arrive to study in the UK?

IPS estimates show that in 2012, 175,000 people immigrated to the UK for formal study. Visa applications for study data show how many non-EU nationals have applied to study in different sectors. Figure 3.1.1 shows that in 2011, 56% of study visa applications (152,479) were made to UK-based universities. This increased to 75% (156,535) in 2012. For more information about visa applications made for study purposes and how these compare with IPS study data, please refer to section 5 of the Home Office Immigration Statistics Report.

Figure 3.1.1: Applicants for visas for study using sponsor acceptances, by education sector.

Figure 3.1.1: Applicants for visas for study using sponsor acceptances, by education sector.
Source: Home Office

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Out of the 298,000 people who emigrated from the UK in 2012, 67,000 had previously immigrated for formal study. That is approximately 1 in 3 (32%) of all former immigrants who emigrated from the UK in 2012.

3.2. When did most former international students previously immigrate to the UK?

A key consideration of the overall figure of former international students emigrating in a given year is when they first arrived in the UK. For example, someone who immigrated to the UK for formal study in 1980 and emigrated in 2012 would be included in the estimate of 67,000, despite being of little influence on recent trends in student migration. Therefore, it is important to establish when those former international students emigrating in 2012 first immigrated to the UK.

Figure 3.2.1: Emigration of former international students from the UK in 2012 by previous year of arrival.

Figure 3.2.1: Emigration of former international students from the UK in 2012 by previous year of arrival.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Those who did not state a year of arrival are not included in Figure 3.2.1.

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Figure 3.2.1 shows that of the 67,000 former international students who emigrated from the UK in 2012, 32% (21,000) had previously immigrated in 2011. More broadly, the data show that 85% (57,000) had immigrated in the four years prior to 2012.

Prior to emigrating from the UK, around 3 in 4 (76% or 51,000) former international students were studying. This suggests that these students have emigrated reasonably soon after completing their course of formal study. An estimated 10% of former international students (7,000) had been employed in professional or managerial occupations prior to emigrating; with a further 12% (8,000) employed in manual or clerical work. It is possible that some of these former international students may have held these jobs part-time in addition to studying, whilst others will have completed their studies and worked in the UK before emigrating. EU migrants’ ability to work having completed their studies may have been affected by changes to immigration policy and the closure of the post-study work route. For more information about these changes, please refer to the Home Office report, Points based system tier 1: an operational assessment.

It is also important to note that a former international student’s usual occupation prior to emigration may not be indicative of why they then emigrate. Section 3.5 discusses estimates of long-term international migration by previous main reason for immigration and current main reason for emigration.

3.3. Calculating a net migration figure for students – is it possible?

It is not currently possible to calculate a meaningful estimate of net migration for students. This is because 2012 data only show the number of former students who emigrated in 2012. Many students who arrived in previous years may have emigrated before 2012. Over time it will be possible to build up an increasingly detailed picture of what happens to different cohorts of people immigrating as students and subsequently emigrating (whether as students or for other reasons). This will enable a greater understanding of the effect of flows of students into and subsequently out of the UK. It is not surprising that many of those immigrating to study, including to the UK’s Higher Education sector, subsequently emigrate for work. This section illustrates the difficulties in attempting to calculate a net figure based on 2012 data.

When comparing emigration of former international students to the immigration figures for formal study for a specific year, it is important to note that there are three possible outcomes:

  1. the student left in 2012 (included in the new 2012 data)

  2. the student left before 2012 (data not available)

  3. the student is still living in the UK

As they will not have left the UK before 2012 (outcome 2), we will focus on the cohort of international students who migrated to the UK for formal study in 2011.

Table 3.3.1. Estimating balance of migration of international students, 2011 cohort.

Description Estimate +/- 95% CI
IPS non-UK born immigration for formal study in 2011 222,000 16,000
IPS Emigration in 2012 of those who previously immigrated for formal study in 2011 21,000 6,000

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. This table uses 95% confidence intervals (+/- 95% CI) to indicate the robustness of each estimate. For any given estimate, there is a 95% probability that the true figure lies in the range: estimate +/- confidence interval. Users are advised to be cautious when making inferences from estimates with large confidence intervals.

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The data presented in Table 3.3.1 suggest that 201,000 students who arrived in the UK in 2011 were still living in the UK in 2012. This is highly plausible as many who immigrated in 2011 are still undertaking their studies and may leave after 2012. Therefore several years of data will need to be collected before a meaningful analysis of whether students leave the UK having completed their studies can take place. As shown in Figure 3.2.1, 85% of former international students who emigrated in 2012 immigrated between 2008 and 2011, indicating stays of several years.

Nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) countries can live, work and study in the UK without a visa, so how long they stay in the UK is unlikely to be affected by immigration policy. Nationals of non-EEA countries, while subject to visa restrictions, may be able to extend the length of their visa or settle in the UK for work, family or other reasons. Figure 3.3.1 shows that in 2012, 115,106 migrants on study visas extended their stay. A short statistical article published by the Home Office in August 2013 stated that in 2012,

‘...there were a total of 115,106 extensions granted in 2012 to people who were previously students, 25% less than in 2011 (153,632). Of these 115,106 extensions, 70,962 (62%) allowed individuals to continue to study, a further 38,505 (33%) were granted for work, largely the Post-study category (34,895), and 4,312 were granted for family-reasons.’

This indicates that in 2012 around 44,000 people on study visas (who presumably previously immigrated to the UK for the main reason of ‘formal study’) extended their stay in the UK for non-study reasons.

Figure 3.3.1: Grants of an extension of stay to people who were previously students, by current category, excluding dependants, 2011 and 2012.

Figure 3.3.1: Grants of an extension of stay to people who were previously students, by current category, excluding dependants, 2011 and 2012.
Source: Home Office

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Further research on student migration can be found in the Migrant Journey Third Report, also published by the Home Office. This research follows cohorts of migrants over several years. The report stated that for people who immigrated to the UK for formal study in 2006 (a cohort of 209,700), 17% (35,600) had some form of valid leave to remain after 5 years and 1% had been granted settlement (permission to stay permanently). Therefore, these data also suggest that many people who immigrated for study in 2011 are likely to have not yet left the UK.

The APS provides estimates of the usually resident population of the UK by country of birth and nationality. These data show that in 2012, 89,000 non-UK born residents had previously migrated to the UK to study in 2011. However, this figure only includes residents living in private households. The APS does not survey communal establishments, such as student halls of residence. However, students living in communal establishments were included in the 2011 Census.

There are no data yet available from the 2011 Census to show precisely how many non-UK born students, living in communal establishments, had previously immigrated to the UK for the purpose of formal study. Census data for England and Wales on economic activity by year of arrival in the UK and country of birth have shown that 564,227 non-UK born students were resident in England and Wales on Census day and that 449,864 of them had immigrated between 2001 and 2011. However, the data does not show how many of these students had immigrated to the UK as international students. For example, a person may have immigrated as a school-age student accompanying their parents in 2005 and then gone on to become a full-time student in Higher or Further Education on Census Day. It is also not possible to tell from the Census how many non-UK born workers are former international students.

In summary, given that many people who have migrated to the UK for formal study in 2011 are likely to remain in the UK for several years, to meaningfully calculate a ‘net’ figure of migration for study for the 2011 cohort, analysis should take place when it can include data to 2014 at the earliest.

3.4. What citizenship do former international students hold?

The remainder of this section returns to analysing the characteristics of the 67,000 former international students who emigrated from the UK in 2012.

Figure 3.4.1: Emigration of former international students in 2012 by citizenship.

Figure 3.4.1: Emigration of former international students in 2012 by citizenship.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3.4.1 shows that 2 in 5 (41% or 27,000) former international students emigrating in 2012 were Other Foreign citizens. Of this group, 12,000 were Chinese citizens. Chinese was the most common citizenship amongst all former international students emigrating in 2012, reflecting the large numbers of Chinese citizens who have immigrated to the UK in recent years for formal study. Visa applications data show that in 2011, there were 57,582 study visa applications from Chinese citizens.

A further 30% of former international students (20,000) were New Commonwealth citizens. Of these, 8,000 were Indian citizens, again perhaps a reflection of the large numbers of Indian citizens immigrating to the UK for formal study in recent years. There were 39,983 study visa applications from Indian citizens in 2011. Overall, 73% of former international students (49,000) were non-EU citizens. As anticipated, these findings are broadly reflective of recent trends in immigration for formal study by citizenship.

3.5. Why are former international students now emigrating from the UK?

Figure 3.5.1: Former international students’ current reason for emigrating, 2012.

Figure 3.5.1: Former international students’ current reason for emigrating, 2012.
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3.5.1 shows that the most common reason for former international students to emigrate from the UK is to look for work. 39% (26,000) of those emigrating in 2012 left for this reason. Taking up a definite job is the next most common reason to emigrate, accounting for 24% (16,000) of those emigrating in 2012. Just under 1 in 5 former international students (17% or 12,000) emigrated to ‘return home’, while 13% (9,000) emigrated for formal study.

5. Migration for Other Reasons

5.1. Family migration

This section outlines findings from the new IPS question on previous main reason for immigration for those who previously immigrated to accompany or join relatives – referred to as ‘former family migrants’ throughout this section. Due to the small sample size available in the IPS for former family migrants, some of the findings are analysed on a broader level than the data for students or labour migrants.

Of the 206,000 former immigrants who emigrated from the UK in 2012, 16,000 (8%) were former family migrants. British, EU and Non-EU citizens each accounted for approximately one third (5,000, 5,000 and 6,000 respectively) of this overall total.

Of those former family migrants emigrating in 2012, 44% (7,000) were employed, whilst 41% (6,000) were categorised as ‘other adults’. This includes migrants aged 16 and over who did not state their occupation prior to migration, or who stated that they were retired, unoccupied or a houseperson. These findings emphasise that those who immigrate to the UK accompanying or joining relatives may also work whilst resident.

Analysis of why former family migrants emigrated from the UK shows that half (8,000) stated accompanying or joining family members as their current reason for emigration. This suggests that family circumstances continue to play a role in migration motivations and intentions for this group.

Due to the small sample size available in the IPS for former family migrants, it is not possible to analyse in much detail what year former family migrants emigrating from the UK first immigrated. Estimates of immigration from the IPS show that between 2003 and 2012, an average 83,000 people a year immigrated to the UK to accompany or join relatives. Admissions data from the Home Office show that between 2007 and 2012, an average 38,600 non-EU nationals (excluding EEA and Swiss nationals) were given leave to enter the UK for family reasons. This includes spouses, fiancé(e)s, civil partners, unmarried partners and children of UK residents. For more information about non-EU family migration, please refer to section 6 of the Home Office Immigration Statistics Report.

Estimates from the APS show that there are 1,400,000 non-UK born people living in the UK who previously migrated here for family reasons between 2002 and 2011. In the APS, ‘family reasons’ consist of immigrating:

  • To get married or form a civil partnership;

  • As a spouse or dependent of a UK citizen; or

  • As a spouse or dependent of someone coming to the UK.

A comparison of these estimates appears to indicate that people who immigrate to the UK to accompany or join relatives are less likely to emigrate again than those who immigrated for other reasons. However, it will be possible to learn more about how many former family migrants emigrate as the time series of previous main reason for immigration data from the IPS develops.

5.2. Other Reasons

The ‘Other or No Reason Stated’ category includes a number of the less frequently cited previous main reasons for immigrating, such as seeking asylum and working holidaymaking. It also includes respondents who either did not state a previous main reason for immigrating when interviewed by the IPS, or for whom no response was recorded.

For the previous main reason for immigration variable, ‘Other/No Reason Stated’ also includes the reason ‘returning home to live’. This reason is grouped separately for the current main reason for migration variable, but has been combined for previous main reason for immigration because of the very few contacts in the IPS who previously ‘returned home to live’ in the UK who then emigrate again.

Of the 206,000 former immigrants who emigrated from the UK in 2012, 12% (26,000) had emigrated to return home. Analysis of former immigrants’ main reason for emigrating in 2012 can be found in section 1.5.

Background notes

  1. 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.

     

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    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

    Users should include a source accreditation to ONS - Source: Office for National Statistics (www.ons.gov.uk)           
    © Crown copyright 2013

    To view this licence, go to: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/ or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk.

  3. Data supplier:

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    email: migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk tel: +44 (0)1329 444097

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Supporting information

Glossary

Annual Population Survey
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.

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’.

EU15
The EU15 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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.

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).

Former Immigrant
A former immigrant is a non-UK born person who emigrated from the UK, having previously immigrated to live there. To be counted as a former immigrant, a person would have had to be living outside the UK for 12 months or more, then moved to the UK for 12 months or more and now be intending to leave the UK for 12 months or more.

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. 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)
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.

New Emigrant
A new emigrant is a person who has never previously left the UK for twelve months or more.

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 high value 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.

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

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.

Student Visitor
The student visitor visa 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.

World Regions
The Home Office and DWP both use world region classifications. DWP have a breakdown of “Europe” into non-EU, EU accession countries and EU excluding non-accession countries. The Home Office only have a combined “Europe” category that in practice virtually consists of European states, including Turkey, that excluding the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals (EEA and Swiss nationality generally do not require visas to enter the UK). The DWP classification also combines the Home Office Asia and Middle East categories. The Home Office Europe” classification, unlike the DWP classification, also includes the former Soviet Central Asian republics and has some other minor definitional differences. The categories “Oceania” and “Australasia and Oceania” are the same, again apart from minor definitional differences.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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