Migration to Britain – in the charts

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sought to reassure the public that he is interested in immigration after government figures on Wednesday showed that long-term arrivals in the UK will reach 606,000 in 2022.

But figures from the Office for National Statistics show measures announced this week to stop overseas students bringing relatives and they will only make a small numerical difference over time.

Migration to the UK has already begun, with students who arrived in 2021 starting to return home. Right now, it’s about work migration it is heavily mandated by the recruitment of medical staff to address the NHS staffing and care sector crisis. The influx of asylum seekers has also led to backlogs pending a preliminary Home Office decision.

Even if we take into account the uncertainty of the ONS data, the UK migration figure of 606,000 is undoubtedly too high. This shows a number of factors that are connected – the opening of the channels to help people from Ukraine and Hong Kong, the increase of Covid in the recruitment of people at the border and the pressure of the government to attract foreign students. But as Madeleine Sumption, director of Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, says, net migration may have peaked earlier, in September. “There is no reason to think that net migration will remain high forever,” he said.

Results of Brexit for traveling across the border with the EU has become difficult: statistics show that there are now more EU citizens leaving the UK than arriving. But arrivals from other countries have increased, reflecting the flow of poverty from Ukraine since the war began in February last year, with numbers coming to study or work, mainly from India, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

The number of network migrations does not have a single cause. Operating procedures were about a quarter of last year’s total. Humanitarian and resettlement visa policies accounted for about one-fifth. Separately, asylum seekers, included in ONS figures for the first time, accounted for 8 per cent of non-EU citizens, while Home Office figures show that the return of unprocessed claims has risen sharply as authorities fail to follow up. number of applicants.

Meanwhile, student numbers continued to rise, with 361,000 arriving on study-related visas – including 85,000 dependents. But their share of net migration declined, as some 2021 arrivals graduated and went home.

The most notable change in work-related migration since the introduction of post-Brexit visa rules for skilled workers has been the rise in outsourcing to the NHS and care sector, which has taken place after the government eased entry rules for low-skilled workers. art.

Figures released separately by the Home Office on Thursday showed that visas for health and care workers outnumbered those working in all other sectors in the year to March. If anything, this sector is growing faster, with statistics showing a recent decline in jobs in other areas, such as finance and IT.

The government’s decision to ban foreign students from bringing friends and children follows a big increase in 2022 in the number of dependents. India and Nigeria were the countries that had the largest increase in the number of students and dependents.

The ONS noted that the graduate visa scheme introduced in July 2021, which allows students to work in the UK for three years after completing their studies, could be one of the main attractions for international students.

Home Office figures show that 92,951 previous students used the scheme – to attract talent to the UK – in the year ending March 2023.

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