1. Main points

  • Short-term immigration of 3 to 12 months to England and Wales in the year ending June 2013 was 230,000. Of these visits, 80,000 were for "other reasons" such as holidays and visiting family. There were also 69,000 visits for study, 53,000 for employment and 27,000 work-related (business) visits

  • Short-term emigration from England and Wales for 3 to 12 months in the year ending June 2013 was 384,000. The majority of these visits were for "other reasons" (308,000). There were also 37,000 visits for work-related (business) reasons, 30,000 for employment, and 9,000 for study

  • India and Poland remain the most common countries of residence for those visiting England and Wales for 3 to 12 months

  • The top 3 local authorities with the highest short-term immigration estimates for the purposes of employment were Newham, Brent and Tower Hamlets. The top 3 local authorities with the highest short-term estimates for study purposes were Sheffield, Birmingham and Newham

  • There has been a statistically significant increase in the estimate of those emigrating from England and Wales for between 3 to 12 months for business related reasons, from 20,000 in the year ending June 2012 to 37,000 in the year ending June 2013. This can be attributed to a statistically significant rise in British citizens emigrating for business reasons

  • India and Australia were the most common countries visited by residents emigrating from England and Wales for 3 to 12 months

  • Turkey (9,000 estimated visits) and the United Arab Emirates (7,000) have entered the top 10 countries visited by those from England and Wales for the first time since short-term estimates began in 2004

  • Total short-term visas to the UK granted for study purposes increased 6% to 128,688 in the year ending June 2013. The total number of non-European Economic Area passenger arrivals at the UK border as student visitors in 2013 was much higher at 263,000 (this includes large numbers of citizens who do not require a visa as a student visitor for periods of up to 6 months, such as USA and Brazilian nationals), however these will include visits of under 3 months

  • Over the same period, short-term (less than 1 year) visas to the UK granted for work, including dependants, increased by 17% to 58,388 in the year ending June 2013

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2. Introduction

Welcome to the Short-Term International Migration Annual Report (STIMAR). A short-term migrant is someone who visits a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of less than 1 year, as opposed to a long-term migrant, who changes their country of usual residence for a year or more.

  • estimates of short-term international migration to and from the UK for England and Wales (latest provisional data is for the year ending June 2013 (that is, the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013))

  • estimates of short-term international immigration from outside the UK to local authorities in England and Wales (latest provisional data is for the year ending June 2013)

  • Home Office data on the number of short-term entry clearance visas issued (latest data is for the year ending December 2014)

Short-term international migration statistics have been developed in response to users’ requirements for more information on population and migration, and on the characteristics of migrants. Local authorities are among the major users of short-term immigration statistics. They use estimates for planning and monitoring service delivery, resource allocation and managing budgets. Short-term international immigration estimates provide additional information about the migrant population that is present in England and Wales for less than a year and therefore does not appear in our mid- year population estimates, as they are not considered usual residents.

For further information about how these statistics are used and their fitness for purpose, please refer to the Quality and Methodology Information for Short-Term International Migration Estimates for England and Wales (237.6 Kb Pdf) and the Quality and Methodology Information for Short-term International Migration Estimates for Local Authorities (158.4 Kb Pdf).

Short-term international migration estimates for England and Wales have been released annually since 2007 and were initially developed as part of the Migration Statistics Improvement Programme. Short-term international immigration estimates for local authorities were first released as experimental statistics in February 2012. The statistics presented in this bulletin were designated as National Statistics following assessment by the UK Statistics Authority in May 2013.

New for this release:

  • new tables and charts have been produced showing estimates of citizenship by main reason for migration using the new country groupings that we consulted on in 2014

  • tables for citizenship by main reason and age by sex now show estimates for flows, stocks, and mean length of stay, though mean length of stay is not discussed in this bulletin

  • statistically significant changes are now identified in published tables

For more information please refer to the Authority’s report Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics on Short-term International Immigration for England and Wales.

We would welcome your feedback on this bulletin; please email your comments to migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

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3. What do these latest figures show about short-term international migration over time?

The majority of the STIMAR refers to short-term international migration for 3 to 12 months, as these people are less likely to be visiting for holidays and perhaps more likely to use public services than those staying for only 1 or 2 months. However, to provide a wider context and demonstrate the differences between the different definitions of short-term international migration, this section shows estimates for both 1 to 12 months and 3 to 12 months, in the context of trends since the year ending (henceforth referred to as "YE") June 2004 (the earliest data available)1.

There is evidence to suggest that long-term international migration was underestimated between 2004 and 2008, due to an inadequate sampling design and coverage of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) which meant that a substantial amount of immigration, particularly of EU8 citizens, was missed during these years, prior to IPS improvements from 2009. This inadequate coverage of some routes may also have caused some short-term migrants to be missed. However, due to a lack of comparative data sources, it is not possible to quantify the scale of the difference. For more information, please refer to the Quality of Long-Term International Migration estimates from 2001 to 2011 - Full Report (1.04 Mb Pdf).

Figure 1.1 shows that under both definitions of short-term international migration, there are more short-term emigration visits by usual residents of England and Wales to other countries than there are visits to England and Wales by usual residents of other countries in each year for which estimates are available. There are also considerably higher short-term international migration flows for periods of 1 to 12 months than there are for 3 to 12 months. This is largely due to the 1 to 12 months definition capturing more visits made for holidays and to visit family and friends.

Short-term immigration to the UK

There were an estimated 1,048,000 short-term international visits to England and Wales for 1 to 12 months in YE June 2013; compared with 1,019,000 the previous year. There was a gradual decrease in short-term immigration to England and Wales for 1 to 12 months from a peak of 1,437,000 visits in YE June 2006 to 996,000 in YE June 2010, since which time short-term immigration for 1 to 12 months has remained broadly steady.

Short-term immigration for 3 to 12 months was an estimated 230,000 in YE June 2013, compared with 225,000 in YE June 2012. Similarly to short-term international migration for 1 to 12 months, there was a gradual decrease in short-term international migration for 3 to 12 months, from 374,000 in YE June 2006 to 213,000 in YE June 2010.

Short-term emigration from the UK

In YE June 2013, there were an estimated 2,419,000 short-term visits by England and Wales residents away from the UK for 1 to 12 months, compared to 2,362,000 in YE June 2012. This figure has fluctuated since a peak of 2,779,000 visits in YE June 2008.

There were an estimated 384,000 visits away from the UK by England and Wales residents for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013, compared with 351,000 visits in YE June 2012. There was a slight (but not statistically significant) decrease in short-term international emigration for 3 to 12 months between YE June 2008 and YE June 2009, since which time the figures have remained broadly similar.

Short-term immigration and emigration by age and sex

Of short-term international visits to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013, 51% (118,000) were made by females and 49% (112,000) by males. Regarding short-term emigration, in YE June 2013, 56% (214,000) of all short-term visits away from the UK by England and Wales residents for 3 to 12 months were made by males and 44% (168,000) by females. These proportions have remained broadly similar since YE June 2004.

Figure 1.2 shows that 16 to 24 was the most common age for both short-term immigration and emigration in YE June 2013. In this period, just over 4 in 10 (93,000) short-term international visits to England and Wales were made by 16 to 24 year-olds and this has been the most common age group for short-term immigration in each year since YE June 2004. The next most common age for short-term immigration is 25 to 34; in YE June 2013, 64,000 visits of 3 to 12 months were made by people of this age to England and Wales, compared with 70,000 the year before. In YE June 2013 however, there was a statistically significant increase in those aged 35 to 44 visiting England and Wales for 3 to 12 months with 27,000 compared with 15,000 the previous year.

The most common age group for short-term international visits away from England and Wales in YE June 2013 was again 16 to 24 with approximately 1 in 4 (102,000) being in this age group. However, emigration levels across all other age groups are higher than for those who immigrate for 3 to 12 months. The second most common age group for short-term emigration in YE June 2013 was for those aged 65 and over, with 69,000 (similar to 66,000 the previous year). This is the highest estimate of short-term emigration for those aged 65 and over since YE June 2008. The relatively high level of short-term emigration amongst those aged 65 and over could be attributed to people choosing to spend short periods of their retirement abroad.

How do short-term international migration estimates for 1 to 12 months and 3 to 12 months differ?

The remainder of this report focuses on short-term international migration estimates that use the 3 to 12 months (all reasons) definition. The 1 to 12 month definition of short-term international migration features a large number of those visiting for "other reasons", particularly for those leaving England and Wales, who tend to be British. The 1 to 2 month visits are more likely to be for recreation or visiting friends and relatives. Students and workers make up a higher proportion of short-term migrants visiting for periods of 3 to 12 months. This group are more likely to use resources and services in their destination country than those visiting for 1 to 2 months. Therefore, the remainder of the STIMAR concentrates mostly on short-term international migration for 3 to 12 months.

Notes for what do these latest figures show about short-term international migration over time?

  1. Statistically significant figures will be noted as such throughout this bulletin
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4. How many short-term migrants are in or away from the UK at any one time?

Short-term international migration estimates can also be used to estimate the impact of short-term international migration on the overall population. For example, if 4 migrants each stayed in England and Wales for 3 months, this would be the equivalent of 1 person staying for 1 year, and so the "stock" count would be 1. Likewise, 2 migrants staying for 6 months would give the equivalent of 1 person staying for 1 year. In the second example, the number of arrivals is half that of the first example, but results in the same stock estimate. Stocks are calculated from the number of stays and the length of stay, so an increase in either can lead to an increase in stocks. Stocks give an average number of migrants in the country on an average day. For more information about how short-term international migration stocks are calculated, please refer to the short-term international migration methodology - national estimates (256.6 Kb Pdf). Stock estimates are referred to as "in-stock", that is, those coming into England and Wales, and "out-stock", those who have left England and Wales.

Figure 2.1 shows that throughout the year ending (YE) June 2004 to YE June 2013, the out-stock of short-term migrants has been higher than the in-stock. On an average day in YE June 2013, there would have been approximately 10 short-term migrants in England and Wales from outside the UK, for every 15 usual residents of England and Wales living abroad for 3 to 12 months.

An estimate of net short-term international migration based on flows data is not appropriate (for more information, please refer to Annex A: Definition of short-term international migration), but these stocks estimates do show that the effect of short-term international migration on the resident population in any one year is negative.

Both short-term migrant in-stocks and out-stocks for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013 increased compared to the previous year. The in-stock of short-term migrants for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013 was 101,000, compared to 94,000 the previous year, but lower than a peak of 149,000 in YE June 2006. This reflects the trend for short-term immigration flows, with most of the decrease taking place between YE June 2006 and YE June 2010.

With regards to out-stocks, there was an estimated 155,000 short-term emigrants away from England and Wales at any one time during YE June 2013. This was a statistically significant increase compared with 136,000 the previous year. The out-stock of short-term emigrants away from England and Wales peaked in YE June 2007 at 181,000.

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5. Short-term international migration for employment

This section explores patterns of short-term international migration for 3 to 12 months for employment (including those looking for a job). There are 2 definitions of "employment" to consider:

  • employment as defined by the UN (henceforth referred to as "employment") refers to the UN definition of employment, which includes migrants going to a definite new job, including au pair work, and those seeking a job, but excludes those visiting on business for their existing employer

  • other employment (in tables this is labelled as "work (other)" (henceforth referred to as "business")) refers to migrants visiting on business for their existing employer and for self-employment

Short-term international immigration for employment and business accounted for 35% of all short-term international visits to England and Wales in the year ending (YE) June 2013. Since YE June 2004, approximately 3 in 10 short-term international visits to England and Wales from outside the UK for 3 to 12 months each year have been for employment or business reasons.

In contrast, employment and business accounted for 17% of all short-term international visits away from England and Wales in YE June 2013.

Figure 3.1 shows that in YE June 2013, 53,000 international visits were made to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months for employment, compared with 47,000 in YE June 2012. However, there has been a steady and statistically significant decrease in short-term immigration for employment over the years since YE June 2006, when the estimate peaked at 108,000. Short-term immigration for business was 27,000 in YE June 2013 and has remained broadly similar to levels in YE June 2008, following a slight (but not statistically significant) decrease between YE June 2008 and YE June 2009.

Comparisons of citizenship and short-term immigration for employment show that of visits to England and Wales for employment in YE June 2013, 87% (46,000) were made by EU citizens. For non EU-citizens, short-term immigration for business was more common, with 13,000 visits made for business in YE June 2013.

Figure 3.1 also shows that the estimate of short-term international visits made by non-UK residents to England and Wales for employment is consistently higher than short-term international visits overseas for employment made by usual residents of England and Wales. With regards to short-term international emigration, there has been a small increase in the estimate of international visits away from England and Wales for employment (from 27,000 visits in YE June 2012 to 30,000 in YE June 2013).

There has been a statistically significant increase in the estimate of international visits away from England and Wales for business, from 20,000 visits in YE June 2012 to 37,000 visits in YE June 2013. The majority of this change has been due to a statistically significant increase in the estimate of British citizens visiting away from England and Wales, having doubled from 16,000 visits in YE June 2012 to 33,000 in YE June 2013. The majority (91%) of international visits away from England and Wales for 3 to 12 months for employment and business were made by British citizens.

The majority of short-term international visits for employment and business are made by those aged between 16 and 34. In YE June 2013, 53% (28,000) of all short-term international visits for employment were made by those aged 16 to 24, with a further 29% (15,000) aged 25 to 34. Those making short-term international visits to England and Wales for business were slightly older, with 57% (15,000) aged 25 to 34 and 23% (6,000) aged 16 to 24. With regards to short-term emigration from England and Wales, 7 in 10 short term international visits for employment were made by those aged between 16 and 34. However, for business, these age ranges accounted for just under half of short term international visits, with an increase on the previous year in the 35 to 44 age range contributing to the change1.

Short-term visas for work

Home Office data on the number of entry clearance visas issued shows that of the 167,000 work visas issued in 2014, 65,000 were short-term (less than 1 year). Of the short-term work visas, 12% were for less than 3 months, 39% for between 3 and 6 months and a further 49% were for from 6 months to less than a year. Work and study visas are mainly issued under the different tiers of the points-based system (PBS).

The latest figures show that from 2013 to 2014, there was a 5% (3,000) increase in short-term work visas issued, from 62,000 to 65,000. Trends over time show that after broadly falling from 2006, the number of short-term work visas issued increased from 34,000 in 2009 to 65,000 in 2014.

For more detailed information about how trends in visas for work compare to visas for study, please see section 4, Short-Term International Migration for Study.

Short-term international immigration for employment by local authority

Using a range of administrative data sources, it is possible to estimate the number of short-term international visits made to each local authority in England and Wales for employment reasons for 3 to 12 months. The local authority totals will not compare exactly to the national estimates as local authority estimates refer to moves made to the UK for 3 to 12 months for purposes of employment and study by non-UK residents who are not British citizens. For more information about how local authority estimates are calculated, please refer to the short-term international migration methodology - local authority estimates (153.7 Kb Pdf) .

When considering England and Wales local authority totals in YE June 2013, there were 52,000 short-term international visits to England and Wales by non-British citizens from outside the UK for 3 to 12 months for employment, compared with 47,000 the previous year.

Map 1 shows that the highest estimates of short-term international visits made for employment were for London and the South East of England. In YE June 2013, around one in three (19,287) short-term international visits for employment for 3-12 months were to London boroughs, with a further 14% (7,445) to the South East of England. This compares with YE June 2012, where London again had the highest estimate of short-term international visits, 16,971 (36%), but this was followed by the East of England with 11% of visits (4,920). The North East (1%, 622) and Wales (2%, 964) had the lowest estimates of short-term migration for employment for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013. This was also the case in YE June 2012. These trends are reflected in Table 3.1, which shows the 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest estimates of short-term international migration for employment in YE June 2013, alongside the estimates for previous years. With the exception of the county of Herefordshire, and Peterborough, the areas are all in London.

Notes for short-term international migration for employment

  1. Data not shown
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6. Short-term international migration for study

This section explores patterns of short-term international migration for 3 to 12 months for study, which includes all formal higher and further education but excludes evening classes and informal tuition. Of the 230,000 short-term international visits to England and Wales in the year ending (YE) June 2013, 30% (69,000) were made for study purposes. By contrast, of visits made by England and Wales residents overseas for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013, only 2% (9,000) were made for study.

Figure 4.1 shows that in each year for which data are available, considerably more short-term international visits have been made to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months to study than have been made away from England and Wales to study. In YE June 2013, short-term immigration for study was 69,000, a slight increase from 63,000 the previous year. Short-term immigration for study has remained at a similar level since YE June 2008, after decreasing from a peak of 82,000 in YE June 2006.

Short-term emigration for study was 9,000 in YE June 2013 and has remained at a broadly similar level since YE June 2009.

Comparisons of citizenship and short-term immigration for study show that, of those international visits to England and Wales for study in YE June 2013, 37,000 were made by citizens of non-EU countries. This is a reduction from YE June 2012, and is more in line with the levels seen in YE June 2008 and YE June 2009.

The majority of short-term international migration for study takes place amongst those aged between 16 and 241.

Short-term visas for study

There are 2 kinds of study visa referenced in this report: short-term (less than a year) study visas, which denote those visas issued through the main study visa system and student visitor visas, which are issued through the separate student visitor scheme. For more information about student visitors, please refer to the glossary.

In 2014, 61,000 regular study short-term visas and 74,000 student visitor visas were issued. Of the 74,000 student visitor visas issued, 81% were issued for up to 6 months and 19% were issued for the extended period of up to 11 months. Work and study visas are issued under the different tiers of the points-based system (PBS) (see glossary).

Combining the short-term regular study visas and student visitor visas together gives 89,000 visas that were issued for less than 6 months (66%) and 46,000 (34%) for more than 6 months but less than a year.

Student visitor visas (formerly the short-term student category before September 2007) have been generally increasing since 2005, apart from a dip in numbers in 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, the number more than doubled. These numbers peaked at 79,000 for the year ending March 2014 and have since fallen.

Figure 4.2 shows trends in short-term visas issued for work, study and student visitor visas for 2005 onwards.

Of the 220,000 regular study visas issued in 2014, 61,000 were short-term. Of these short-term regular study visas, 9% were for less than 3 months, 39% for between 3 and 6 months and a further 52% were for from 6 months to less than a year. The number of short-term regular study visas issued fell from 68,000 in 2006 to 62,000 in 2008. The number was then higher at 67,000 in 2009 and 65,000 in 2010, reaching a peak of 68,000 in the year ending June 2011. The numbers then fell noticeably to 53,000 in 2012 and have more gradually risen back to 62,000 in 2013 and 61,000 in 2014.

Along with the drop in student visitors visas from 2013 to 2014, there was also a 12% (36,000) decrease for student visitor admissions from 299,000 in 2012 to 263,000 in 2013 (2013 is the most recent year available). For admissions, this includes large numbers of non-visa nationals (such as the United States and Brazilian nationals) who if studying for less than 6 months do not require a visa.

The decline seen in admissions data was driven by a large decrease of 75,000 for United States nationals, which more than offset increases seen in other nationalities. Despite this decline, the United States still accounted for the largest proportion of student visitor admissions in 2013 at 70,000 (27% of admissions) with Russia (8%), Japan (8%) and Brazil (7%) the next largest nationalities.

Over time, student visitor visas have been generally increasing, apart from a small decrease in 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, the number more than doubled from 38,000 to 78,000, with a small decrease in 2014 to 74,000.

If students intend to study for less than 6 months they also have the option of applying for a visa under the student visitor scheme (though there are generally more restrictions on student visitors). This will have an influence on the numbers of those applying for short-term regular study visa of less than 6 months duration.

Table 4.1 contains a summary of the most recent short-term work, regular study and student visitor visa numbers as well as student visitor admissions.

Short-term international immigration for study by local authority

Using a range of administrative data sources, it is possible to estimate the number of short-term international visits made by non-British citizens to each local authority in England and Wales for study reasons for 3 to 12 months. For more information about how local authority estimates are calculated, please refer to the short-term international migration methodology - local authority estimates (153.7 Kb Pdf) .

In YE June 2013, 68,000 short-term international visits were made to England and Wales from outside the UK for 3 to 12 months for study, compared with 63,000 in the previous year. Map 2 shows how these visits were distributed across local and unitary authorities in England and Wales.

Map 2 shows that, similar to employment, the region within England and Wales with the highest estimates of short-term immigration for study is London, to which 32% (21,645) of all short-term international visits were made in YE June 2013. A further 15% (10,316) were made to the South East of England. Wales (1,780, 3%) and the region of the North East of England (2,039, 3%) had the least amount of short-term immigration visits for study purposes. Sheffield (2,728, 4%) had the highest estimates of short-term international visits for study of any local authority in England and Wales, shortly followed by Birmingham (2,566, 4%). Table 4.2 shows the 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest estimates of short-term international immigration for study in YE June 2013, alongside the estimates for previous years. 4 of the areas are London boroughs and the remainder are cities home to multiple universities and further education providers.

Notes for short-term international migration for study

  1. Data not shown.
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7. Short-term international migration for other reasons

"Other" reasons for short-term international migration include all reasons which do not fall under the categories of study or work (either employment as defined by the UN, or business travel). Therefore, other reasons for short-term international migration can include activities such as:

  • holidays and travelling

  • working holidays and volunteering

  • medical treatment

  • religious pilgrimage

  • visiting family and friends

  • accompanying or joining others

As shown in Figure 5.1, "other reasons" are the most common main reason for short-term international migration both to and from England and Wales. In the year ending (YE) June 2013, there were 80,000 short-term international visits to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months for "other reasons", compared with 92,000 in YE June 2012 and 114,000 in YE June 2011. Short-term international immigration for "other reasons" had remained at a broadly similar level since YE June 2007 but has begun to show a decline. Of short-term international visits to England and Wales for other reasons in YE June 2013, 60% (48,000) were made by non-EU citizens.

With regards to short-term emigration, 308,000 short-term international visits for 3 to 12 months were made for "other reasons" away from England and Wales in YE June 2013, compared to 293,000 the previous year. "Other reasons" accounted for 4 out of every 5 short-term international visits away from England and Wales in YE June 2013. 66% of short-term emigration for other reasons in YE June 2013 was undertaken by British citizens (202,000 visits) and a further 25% (77,000 visits) by non-EU citizens.

Unlike short-term international migration for employment or study, the age distribution of short-term international migration for other reasons is more even across age groups and less concentrated among working-age adults. For example, in YE June 2013, approximately 1 in 5 short-term international visits to and away from England and Wales were made by those aged 65 and over1.

Notes for short-term international migration for other reasons

  1. Data not shown
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8. Short-term international migration by citizenship and country of residence

Citizenship

Provisional short-term international migration estimates for the year ending (YE) June 2013 show that overall inflows to England and Wales were 230,000, 4% (10,000) of which were visits by British citizens and 96% (220,000) of which were visits by non-British citizens. Outflows from England and Wales were 384,000, 71% (272,000) of which were visits by British citizens and 29% (113,000) of which were visits by non-British citizens. These outflow estimates are at a slightly higher level than those seen in YE June 2012. Figure 6.1 shows short-term immigration estimates for different citizenship groups in more detail.

There have not been any statistically significant changes in the estimates of British citizens visiting England and Wales from outside the UK for 3 to 12 months since YE June 2004. In YE June 2013 the citizenship group making the largest estimated number of short-term international visits to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months was EU citizens, with 117,000 visits, compared to 103,000 by non-EU citizens. This differs from YE June 2012, when 89,000 visits were made by EU citizens compared to 119,000 by non-EU citizens. This is the first time EU citizens have accounted for the largest estimated number of international visits to England and Wales since YE June 2008. Between YE June 2004, the first year for which a published time series is available, and YE June 2008, the citizenship group making the largest estimated number of international visits varied.

More specifically, in YE June 2013, international visits by EU citizens were comprised of an estimated 62,000 visits (53%) by EU15 citizens (a statistically significant increase from YE June 2012 (41,000)), 39,000 visits (33%) by EU8 citizens and 14,000 (12%) by EU2 citizens.

The estimated 103,000 international visits to England and Wales for 3 to 12 months by non-EU citizens in YE June 2013 is down from 119,000 in YE June 2012. Of these 103,000 visits, 11% (11,000) were made by "Old Commonwealth" citizens, 45% (46,000) were made by "New Commonwealth" citizens and 45% (46,000) were made by other foreign citizens. Most of the reduction is as a result of the fall in "Other Foreign" citizens from 60,000 in YE June 2012. There are no statistically significant differences between these and the previous year’s figures.

As would be expected, British citizens make the largest proportion of international visits away from England and Wales for 3 to 12 months. In YE June 2013, the provisional estimate is 272,000, slightly higher than the YE June 2012 estimate of 232,000. Since YE June 2004, when an estimated 344,000 British citizens made international visits away from England and Wales for 3 to 12 months, there has been no statistically significant change in these figures from 1 year to the next, except between YE June 2008 and YE June 2009, when the estimate decreased from 325,000 to 255,000.

Country of residence and country visited

In the context of short-term international migration, country of last residence refers to the normal country of residence from which short-term immigrants to England and Wales have arrived, that is, the last country in which they lived for 12 months or more; whereas country visited refers to the country being visited by usual residents of England and Wales who have become short-term emigrants.

India and Poland have been the 2 most common countries of residence amongst short-term international immigrants to England and Wales in each year since YE June 2004. Estimates of short-term immigration from India have remained broadly similar over this time period, whereas the estimate of short-term international visits to England and Wales by residents of Poland has shown a statistically significant decrease over time, from a peak of 68,000 in YE June 2005 and YE June 2006, to 17,000 in YE June 2012. This has risen only slightly in YE June 2013 to 20,000. Germany, France and the USA made up the remainder of the 5 most common countries of residence in YE June 2013. (France was not in the top 10 in YE June 2012).

India was the most commonly visited country by usual residents of England and Wales emigrating for 3 to 12 months in YE June 2013, with 39,000 visits. This is a higher estimated number of emigrants than visited France, the most commonly visited country in YE June 2012 (26,000). Australia, which had fallen from first place in YE June 2011, has returned to second place in YE June 2013 with 34,000 visitors. Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have entered the top 10 for the first time since 2004 (the first year of available data) with 9,000 and 7,000 visitors respectively.

Short-term visas by nationality

Figure 6.4 shows trends in short-term visas issued for less than 12 months for work and study combined (including student visitors) by world region of nationality, since 2005, excluding a small number of visas that cannot be ascribed to a world area and are categorised as "Other".

Total short-term visas issued fell from 159,000 in 2006 to 139,000 in 2009 and have since broadly risen, reaching 202,000 in 2013 and 200,000 in 2014.

The decline in short term visas issued over the period 2006 to 2009 was predominantly driven by notable falls in visas issued to European nationals (-33,000 (-60%)). The largest falls were for Russia (falling 17,000) and Ukraine (falling 6,000). Part of the fall for European nationals was a consequence of Bulgaria and Romania joining the EU at the start of 2007 which meant that their nationals no longer required visas to enter the UK. Over the period 2006 to 2009 Bulgarian and Romanian short term visas issued fell by 4,000 and 3,000 respectively.

In terms of visas by reason, most of the 33,000 fall for short-term visas issued to European nationals over the period 2006 to 2009 was accounted for by 20,000 fewer work-related visas (Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania accounting for 31%, 20%, 20% and 12% of this fall respectively), along with 9,000 fewer regular study visas (Turkey, Russia and Ukraine accounting for 43%, 22% and 13% of this fall respectively).

The 63,000 increase in the total short-term visas from 2009 (139,000) to 2013 (202,000), was largely accounted for by an increase in nationals from Asia East1, Asia South and Europe (21,000, 18,000 and 8,000 respectively).

Looking at the increase in total short-term visas issued from 2009 to 2013 by reason, this was predominantly driven by a 40,000 increase in student visitors (mostly accounted for by increases in student visitors from Europe (10,000), Asia East (10,000) and the Middle East (8,000)). The number of short-term work visas issued increased by 27,000 from 2009 to 2013. The majority of this increase (20,000) was driven by increases in work visas issued to Asia South nationals.

Notes for short-term international migration by citizenship and country of residence

  1. In addition to the conventional citizenship and country groupings, IPS estimates are now output to new groupings following a consultation in 2014
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9 .Annex A: Definition of short-term international migration

Estimates of short-term international migration for England and Wales are available on the basis of 3 definitions.

  • the 1 to 12 months definition, which includes those migrating for all reasons

  • the 3 to 12 months definition, which also includes those migrating for all reasons

  • the United Nations (UN) definition, which states that "a short-term migrant is a person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least 3 months but less than a year (12 months) except in cases where the movement to that country is for purposes of recreation, holiday, visits to friends or relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimage" - in practice, this is defined as a visit of 3 to 12 months for the purpose of work or study

To be included as a short-term international immigrant to England and Wales under any of these definitions, a person arriving must have been living outside the UK for 12 months or more (these tend to be foreign citizens, but can include British citizens). A short-term international emigrant from England and Wales must have been living in the UK for 12 months or more prior to leaving (these tend to be British citizens, but include other residents).

The UN definition is used to allow international comparisons and is also the only available definition for estimates of short-term international migration to local authorities. The UN definition of "work" refers to working for an employer in the destination country and excludes business trips where a migrant is paid by an organisation in their country of origin. The UN definition of "study" refers to higher and further education courses and excludes evening classes and informal tuition.

Short-term migrants who stay for 3 to 12 months are more likely to use local services and become economically active; therefore, this bulletin focuses on migrants staying for 3 to 12 months (definition 2), although some figures for 1 to 12 month stays are also provided for comparison.

Short-term international migration estimates relate to the number of migration events rather than the number of people. For example, under the 1 to 12 months definition, this means that if 1 person enters or leaves the UK for more than a month, more than once, each of their journeys to the UK is counted.

Our estimates of short-term international migration, for all 3 definitions, refer to the mid-year, which is 1 July to 30 June. Home Office short-term visa data refer to calendar years.

What about net migration?

Unlike for long-term international migration, there are no estimates of short-term international "net" migration flows. Short-term migrants do not stay for more than 12 months; therefore, they do not become "usually resident". This means they are not included in population estimates, so calculating a net migration figure for short-term migrants does not have the value that it does for long-term international migration. In addition, short-term migrants coming to England and Wales are counted in as short-term migrants but not out as short-term migrants, because to be counted out as a short-term migrant, a person needs to have been resident in England and Wales for 12 months or more. Short-term international outflows from England and Wales are higher than short-term international inflows to England and Wales, so the net difference would be negative if it were possible to calculate.

The most appropriate estimates to use in order to estimate the impact of short-term international migration on the overall population are short-term international migration stocks. Stocks estimates are more meaningful because they estimate the average number of short-term migrants in the country on an average day in a 12 month period. For example, if 4 migrants each stayed in England and Wales for 3 months, this would be the equivalent of 1 person staying for 1 year, so the "stock" count would be 1. Section 2 of this report analyses estimates of short-term international migration stocks.

How do our short-term international migration estimates compare to Home Office data on short-term visas?

Visa data provides only partial coverage of short term migrants since it normally relates to those non- European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, who are subject to immigration control, and who require a visa. EEA nationals do not normally require a visa to enter the UK (although a small number of EEA nationals do apply and are issued with visas). Additionally, for those non-EEA nationals classified as "non-visa nationals" (for example, citizens of the USA, Brazil and Japan) a visa is not normally required for visits of less than 6 months. For more information about non-visa nationals, please refer to the glossary.

In this report, a short-term visa is defined as being a visa of less than 12 months duration issued to those who have arrived in the UK for work or study; this definition is presented to better align visa data with the UN definition of short-term international migration. The figures presented relate to visas issued for entry clearance to the UK and do not relate to individual countries within the UK. The figures also include dependants.

It is important to recognise that visa duration does not necessarily represent length of stay. Many individuals will depart prior to the expiry date, whilst a proportion of these may also be granted extensions of stay. For example, it is not possible to determine whether a holder of a visa has actually stayed for 3 months or more.

At the boundary between long- and short-term visas only a small proportion of visas are issued for exactly a year (365 or 366 days). However, in 2014 these represented only 0.4% (900) of the total for all regular study visas (220,000); and 3% (5,000) of the total number of work visas (167,000).

Please also note that some data presented in this report is based on a more recent extract from the underlying administrative data source, and therefore may not exactly match totals published in the Home Office report, Immigration Statistics January to March 2015.

Where do the data come from?

Estimates of short-term international migration are derived from the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The IPS is a survey of a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel and is also used to calculate Long-Term International Migration estimates and Travel and Tourism statistics.

Short-term migrants are interviewed by the IPS at the end of their stay; therefore, if their actual reported length of stay is for 1 to 12 months and they match the above definitions, they will be included in the short-term international migration estimates. Since they have already completed their migration, they will not later become long-term migrants, so there is no overlap between short-term and long-term international migration estimates. However, there are overlaps between short-term international migration statistics, which count visits by "migrants" of 1 to 12 months, and travel and tourism statistics, which count visits by "visitors" of over 1 day but less than 12 months. Estimates of visitors are considerably higher than those of migrants. Although there is some overlapping sample between the 2 statistics, they examine different characteristics of the short-term visitors or migrants.

The YE June 2013 estimates presented in this bulletin are provisional. This is because IPS data are only finalised when a full calendar year's interview data can be calibrated against annual passenger figures supplied to the IPS by the Civil Aviation Authority and the British Ports Authority. YE June 2013 estimates of short-term migration will include data collected up to 30 June 2014 (because short-term migrants are interviewed at the end of their stay). Provisional estimates are replaced with final estimates when the data are republished in the following year; for example, final YE June 2012 estimates are included in this report, having been published as provisional estimates on 23 May 2014. In practice, only a very small percentage of the interviews used to build the estimates for the most recently published mid-year will have been collected in the most recent calendar year, so the final estimates will differ only slightly from the provisional estimates.

For more information about how England and Wales short-term international migration estimates are calculated, please refer to the short-term international migration methodology - national estimates (256.6 Kb Pdf) and the short-term international migration - frequently asked questions (110.8 Kb Pdf).

Short-term international immigration estimates for local authorities in England and Wales are derived by distributing national England and Wales estimates to the local authorities on the basis of administrative information about short-term migrants from a number of different sources. Local authority estimates use only the UN definition because these administrative sources are only available for workers and students, and are not sufficiently robust to provide information on those staying for less than three months. Estimates of short-term international emigration from local authorities are not available because there are no suitable data available to distribute estimates of short-term emigration from local authorities.

For more information about how local authority estimates are calculated, please refer to the short-term international migration methodology - local authority estimates (153.7 Kb Pdf) . Further migration data for local authorities are also available in the Local Area Migration Indicators Suite.

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10 .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 nationality may hold.

More generally a British citizen as described in IPS statistics includes those with UK nationality usually through a connection with the UK: birth, adoption, descent, registration, or naturalisation. British nationals have the right of abode in the UK.

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".

Country of usual residence

Based on the UN definition, the country in which a person has a place to live, where he or she normally spends the daily period of rest. Temporary travel abroad for purposes of recreation, holiday, visits to friends and relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimages does not change a person’s country of usual residence.

European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA consists of the 28 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 28 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Croatia joined the EU in July 2013 – data with a reference period after that date will include Croatia within the EU grouping. Estimates for the EU quoted in this bulletin and accompanying tables exclude British citizens, who are reported as a separate group.

European Union (EU) Accession Countries

The Accession countries are those that joined the EU in 2004 or later. 10 joined in 2004 (the EU8, plus Cyprus and Malta), 2 joined in 2007 (the EU2) and Croatia joined in 2013.

EU2

The EU2 (formerly known as the A2) are the 2 countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania. Between 2007 and 2013, EU2 nationals had certain restrictions placed on them; in the first 12 months of stay, working Bulgarian and Romanian nationals were generally required to hold an Accession Worker Card or apply for 1 of 2 lower-skilled quota schemes. Other Bulgarian and Romanian nationals could apply for a registration certificate, giving proof of a right to live in the UK. These restrictions were lifted on 1 January 2014.

EU8

The EU8 (formerly known as the A8) are the 8 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 2 other countries that joined on that date: Cyprus and Malta. EU8 nationals previously had restrictions on their rights to work and were required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme, but these restrictions were lifted from 1 May 2011.

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. However, EU15 statistics exclude the United Kingdom.

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.

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, 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 EU 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 and The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 and 2013 respectively, but again the definition for this grouping has remained unchanged.

Non-visa nationals

Non-visa nationals are nationals who do not require a visa to enter the UK. European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not normally require a visa to enter the UK (although a small number of EEA nationals do apply and are issued visas). Additionally, for those non-EEA nationals classified as "non-visa nationals" (for example, citizens of the USA, Brazil and Japan) a visa is not normally required for visits of less than 6 months. There are 2 ways in which non-visa nationals can enter the UK for work and study purposes without a visa. Non-visa nationals are allowed to work in the UK without a visa, but only for sporting or creative work of less than 3 months duration, this falling outside the scope of the UN definition of a short-term migrant. However, for study there are many more admitted into the UK under the student visitor scheme than visas issued as non-visa nationals are allowed to study under the scheme for up to 6 months without a requirement for a visa.

Old Commonwealth (ONS statistical grouping)

The Old Commonwealth statistical grouping consists of 4 countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Points-based system (PBS) – study

The points-based system (PBS) in part rationalised the immigration control processes for people coming into the UK for study. The PBS has 5 “tiers”, 1 of which (Tier 4) provides a route for students to study with an approved education provider. Tier 4 was implemented in March 2009. Data shown for "study" includes visas issued under Tiers 4 and pre-PBS equivalents.

Points-based system (PBS) – work

From 2008, the points-based system (PBS) in part rationalised the immigration control processes for non-EEA nationals coming into the UK for work. 4 of the 5 Tiers (Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 5) relate to permission to work:

  • Tier 1 provides a route for high value individuals

  • Tier 2 provides a route for skilled workers with a job offer

  • Tier 3 relates to unskilled workers (never implemented)

  • Tier 5 is for temporary workers and youth mobility schemes

The figures shown for work include visas issued under Tiers 1, 2, 5 and pre-PBS equivalents, as well as data for work categories which were not incorporated into the PBS, in particular overseas domestic workers (17,000 visas issued in 2013) and the UK Ancestry route (4,000 visas issued in 2013).

Short-term visa

A short-term visa is defined as being a visa of less than 12 months duration. The UN definition of short-term migrants relates to those who change their country of usual residence for between 3 and 12 months for the purposes of work or study. In line with this UN definition, the analysis of visas presented here relates solely to those who have arrived in the UK for work or study on short term visas.

It is important to recognise that visa duration does not necessarily represent the length of stay, as many individuals will depart prior to the expiry date. Individuals may also be granted extensions of stay. It is, therefore, not possible to determine whether a holder of a visa has actually stayed for 3 months or more.

Most student visitor visas are issued for a fixed 6 months duration, or in some limited conditions for 11 months (with no possibility of extension in either case); because visa duration does not necessarily represent the length of stay, it is not possible to make any inference as to whether an actual visit exceeded 3 months from the 6 months fixed visa duration. Similarly, short term visas issued for work and for regular study are likely to reflect an individual’s initial planned length of stay, with the actual length of stay potentially being longer due to extensions for work placements or study courses.

The figures presented here relate to visas issued for entry clearance to the United Kingdom, and do not related to individual countries within the UK. The figures include dependants.

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

Student visitor

The student visitor provisions allow for individuals to come to the UK to undertake short courses or periods of no more than 6 months at a specified type of educational institution. Unlike Tier 4 this study can be at any level and does not have to lead to a qualification. In addition to the 6 month route there is a concession for those studying English language courses longer than 6 months in duration, which allows individuals to study on English language courses up to 11 months in duration. The intention of these provisions is to enable an individual to study up to the level required to qualify for Tier 4 of the points-based system.

The term "regular study visa" is used to denote those visas issued through the main study visa system. Figures are also presented for the separate student visitor scheme. There is some overlap in duration between student visitor and regular study visas (for example, both could be granted for 6 months), where applicants have a choice as to which to choose (with there being generally more restrictions placed on student visitor visas).

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12 .Background notes

  1. The Short-Term International Migration Annual Report (STIMAR) is produced in partnership with the Home Office.

  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
    • 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 to the STIMAR and associated migration products is available

  4. 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.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Nicola White
migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444097