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), the Home Office and 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’ 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. (327.8 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.
This publication includes some changes from previous MSQR publications. DWP’s data on the allocation of National Insurance numbers to overseas nationals are now published annually. They are not in this MSQR but updated figures will be included in the August edition. The latest available data can be found in National Insurance Number (NINo) Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals to June 2012.
In 2012 confidence intervals 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. 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'.
Guidance on comparing data from different sources can be found in the
MSQR Information for Users (308.2 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 new diagram and table that clarify the differences between the migration statistics produced from Home Office, DWP and ONS data sources.
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 June 2012 to 163,000 from 247,000 in the year to June previously. This decline is due to significant decreases in immigration, while emigration has shown a small, insignificant change from 342,000 to 352,000. Previously, in the years 2008 to 2010, changes in net migration were driven by changes in emigration, while immigration remained steady but 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 June 2012 was 515,000, a statistically significant difference from 589,000 in the year to June 2011. This continues a recent decline in immigration and is now the lowest estimated inflow since the year ending 2003 when it was 511,000. 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 December 2012, which suggests that the LTIM estimates of immigration (particularly for non-EU citizens) may continue to show a decline. The number of visas issued fell to 507,701 in the year ending December 2012; the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005. This was 10% lower than the year ending December 2011 (564,807).
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 197,000 in the year ending June 2012 from 239,000 the previous year.
The latest data on study visas issued in the UK, (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 December 2012, there were 209,804 visas issued for the purpose of study, which was a fall of 20% compared with the previous 12 months. There was also a 22% fall for sponsored student visa applications to 210,111 in the year ending December 2012. This change was not uniform, with a 3% increase for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions) and falls of 62%, 69% and 14% 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 from New Commonwealth countries immigrating to the UK from 168,000 the previous year to 117,000 in the year ending June 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 171,000 in the year ending June 2012 from 222,000 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 June 2012, 173,000 people migrated to the UK for work, which is lower, but not significantly different from 194,000 the year previously. However, despite this small overall change, there were significant changes in the numbers of some citizenship groups migrating for work related reasons.
The total number of citizens from EU Accession countries who immigrated to the UK decreased significantly. In the year ending June 2012, 62,000 EU8 citizens migrated to the UK, which is significantly lower than 86,000 who immigrated the previous year and the lowest estimate since 2004. The decline has been largely driven by fewer EU8 citizens arriving to the UK for work related reasons, which has declined by more than a quarter (28%). This could be due to the expiry in May 2011 of transitional controls that applied to EU8 citizens seeking work in other EU countries (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.
The slight increase in emigration is largely due to increases in British citizens leaving for work related reasons (to 83,000 from 70,000 the previous year) and significantly more New Commonwealth citizens leaving for work related reasons (30,000 in the year ending June 2012, from 24,000 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 145,138 work-related visas were issued in the year to December 2012, a fall of 3% compared with the previous 12 months.
Further information on these data is available in Section 5 of this report.
This section shows the latest available figures from the following sources:
Provisional long-term international migration figures in the year to June 2012.
Entry clearance visas issued by the Home Office up to December 2012.
1.1 Provisional long-term international migration figures (year to June 2012)
The provisional estimate of total long-term international immigration to the UK in the year to June 2012 was 515,000. This was significantly lower than the estimate of 589,000 in the year to June 2011 (Figure 1.1).
The provisional estimate of total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to June 2012 was 352,000, similar to 342,000 in the year to June 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 June 2012 was 163,000 (Figure 1.1). This is significantly lower than the 247,000 in the year to June 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.
1.3 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 507,701 in the year ending December 2012, the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005. This was 10% lower than the year ending December 2011 (564,807).
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 June 2012 the estimated number of British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK was 76,000 similar to the year to June 2011, when it was estimated 88,000 British citizens immigrated. The estimated number of British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK in the year to June 2012 was 155,000, which is similar to 143,000 in the year to June 2011 (Figure 2.11). However, emigration of British citizens has been steadily increasing and is now significantly higher than a low of 128,000 in the year to June 2010. Net migration of British citizens was -79,000 in the year ending June 2012. This means that 79,000 more British citizens left the UK than arrived during that year. This is not significantly different from -55,000 in the year ending June 2011 (Figure 2.11).
The estimated number of non-British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to June 2012 was 439,000, 12% lower than the estimate of 501,000 for the year to June 2011. The estimated number of non-British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK was 197,000, similar to the estimate of 199,000 in the year to June 2011. The effect of these flows means that net migration of Non-British citizens has significantly decreased from 302,000 in the year ending June 2011 to 242,000 in the year ending June 2012 (Figure 2.12).
2.2 EU citizens
An estimated 157,000 citizens from the EU (excluding British) migrated to the UK in the year ending June 2012, similar to the estimate of 175,000 in the year ending June 2011. Inflows of EU citizens have been similar since mid 2010. The estimated number of EU citizens (excluding British) emigrating from the UK was 86,000 in the year ending June 2012, again similar to the estimate of 95,000 emigrating in the year ending June 2011. Net migration of EU citizens in the year ending June 2012 was 72,000, similar to 79,000 the previous year (Figure 2.21).
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 June 2012 was 62,000, 28% lower than the estimate of 86,000 in the year to June 2011. The estimated number of EU8 citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to June 2012 was 32,000, similar to the estimate of 40,000 in the year to June 2011. The fall in immigration resulted in a significant change in net migration of EU8 citizens, which fell to 30,000 in the year ending June 2012 from 46,000 the previous year (Figure 2.22).
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. For information on this see 'Germany’s population increasing in 2011 for the first time since 2002' on the DeStatis website.
2.3 Non-EU citizens
The estimated number of non-EU citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to June 2012 was 282,000, compared with the estimate of 327,000 in the year to June 2011. The estimated number of non-EU citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to June 2012 was 111,000, similar to the estimate of 104,000 in the year to June 2011. The resulting change in net migration of non-EU citizens from an estimated 222,000 in the year ending June 2011 to 171,000 in the year to June 2012 is a statistically significant decrease (Figure 2.3).
The decrease in immigration of non-EU citizens has been largely due to significant falls in people arriving from the New Commonwealth for study. An estimated 63,000 New Commonwealth citizens arrived for study in the year to June 2012, which is significantly lower that the estimate of 108,000 who arrived in the year to June 2011.
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 1.3).
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 273,927 (54%) of the 507,701 visas issued in 2012, with India and China each accounting for 15% of the total. Between the year ending December 2011 and year ending December 2012, the nationalities with particularly large changes in visas issued were Pakistanis (-25,841 or -48%), Indians (-18,365 or -19%), Sri Lankans (-4,202 or -45%), Bangladeshis (-3,175 or -30%) and Chinese (+7,050 or +10%).
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.
3.1 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 (308.2 Kb Pdf) .
Provisional LTIM for the year ending June 2012 continues to demonstrate that the most common reason given for migrating to the UK is formal study. An estimated 197,000 long term migrants arrived to the UK for formal study in the year to June 2012, which is significantly lower than the estimate of 239,000 in the year to June 2011 (Figure 3.11).
Work related reasons are the next most common reason given for migration to the UK. In the year to June 2012 173,000 migrants arrived for work related reasons. This is similar to the estimate of 194,000 in the year to June 2011 but significantly lower than the peak of 242,000 in the year to December 2007 (Figure 3.11).
The third most common reason for migrating to the UK is accompany/join. Numbers of migrants arriving to the UK to accompany or join friends or family has shown a decrease to 68,000 in the year to June 2012. This is significantly lower than 85,000 who migrated for this reason the year previously (Figure 3.11).
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. 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 3%, 20% and 10% respectively for the year ending December 2012 (to 145,138, 209,804, and 40,925). 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.
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 209,804 in the year ending December 2012, 20% lower than the 261,870 in the year to December 2011 (Figure 3.12).
Most of the 52,066 (-20%) fall in study visas issued (excluding student visitors) was accounted for by falls in Pakistani (-24,668, -69%), Indian (-17,604, -50%), Sri Lankan (-3,537, -72%) and Bangladeshi (-3,402, -53%) nationals. However, there were some notable increases, including an increase of 4,856 (+9%) for Chinese nationals.
By contrast, there was an 11% increase in student visit visas issued to 68,372 in the year ending December 2012. 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 December 2012, there were 210,111 sponsored visa applications (main applicants), a fall of 22% compared with the previous 12 months. This included an increase of 3% for the university sector (UK-based Higher Education Institutions, to 156,537), and falls of 62%, 69% and 14% respectively in the further education sector (Tertiary, further education or other colleges to 31,587), English language schools (to 3,589) and independent schools (to 13,987).
As a consequence, the share of visa applications for the university sector rose from over half (56%) to three quarters (75%) over the same period, whilst the shares for the further education sector and for English language schools fell respectively from 31% to 15%, and from 4% to 2%.
Of the entry clearance visas issued in the year ending December 2012, a total of 145,138 were work related. This was a decrease of 3% on 149,310 in the year ending December 2011. These include (Figure 3.13):
18,010 Tier 1 (highly skilled workers) visas or equivalents (21% fall).
68,108 Tier 2 (skilled workers) visas or equivalents (3% rise).
38,296 Tier 5 (youth mobility and temporary workers) visas or equivalent (1% rise).460 pre-PBS visas that cannot be allocated to a tier (31% fall).
20,264 work-related visas not covered by the PBS (6% fall).
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.
In addition to the visas information, the Home Office has released provisional quarterly figures up to December 2012 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 18% higher in Q4 2012 (6,216) compared with Q4 2011 (5,269) (Figure 3.14).
Comparing the year ending December 2011 with the year ending December 2012, the number of people granted settlement in the UK fell by 24% from 166,878 to 126,891. Asylum-related grants fell by 18% to 10,609, family formation and reunion grants fell by 16% to 45,323, work-related grants fell by 11% to 62,204 and other grants, including those on a discretionary basis, fell by 71% to 8,755 (Figure 3.15).
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 57% of emigrants. An estimated 201,000 people emigrated from the UK for work related reasons in the year ending June 2012, similar to the estimate of 190,000 in the year ending June 2011 (Figure 3.2).
In the year to June 2012 125,000 (62%) left for a definite job, similar to the estimate of 114,000 (60%) in the year to June 2011. The remaining 38% in the year to June 2012 and 40% in the year to June 2011 left to look for work. The proportions of definite job/look for work have remained fairly constant over time.
IPS data (which excludes the adjustments made to derive LTIM) shows that the estimated numbers of British citizens emigrating reached a low of 115,000 in June 2010. Since then the estimated number of British citizens emigrating has increased to 150,000 in the year to June 2012. IPS data 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.
Other migration and population products published on 28 February 2013 include:
Long-term international migration within the UK (ONS) This is an overview of the latest ONS data on international migration.
Long-term international migration within the UK is highlighted on the new Population theme page on the ONS website.
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 and the year ending June 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. (308.2 Kb Pdf)
An overview of population statistics is produced by ONS. This includes information on migration statistics.
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).
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).
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.
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 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.
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 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
The following are URL links to the products underlying this report, or otherwise associated with the co-ordinated migration release of 28 February 2013. The department releasing each product is indicated.
The MSQR Information for Users (308.2 Kb Pdf) (ONS) - this includes guidance on comparing the data sources, and quality information (ONS)
Quality and Methodology Information for International Migration (327.8 Kb Pdf) (ONS)
International Passenger Survey: Quality Information in Relation to Migration Flows (ONS)
Quarterly releases on 28 February 2013:
Labour Market Statistics November 2012 (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
Published on 30 August 2012:
The remaining quarterly migration release dates in 2013 are:
Thursday 23 May,
Thursday 29 August and,
Thursday 28 November.
The final long-term international migration figures for the calendar year 2012 will be published in November 2013.
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.A list of those with Pre-release access (25.4 Kb Pdf) to the MSQR and associated migration products is available.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
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