This release presents the latest immigration statistics from Home Office administrative sources, covering the period up to the end of March 2014.

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

1. Summary Points: January to March 2014

All data below relate to the year ending March 2014 and all comparisons are with the year ending March 2013, unless indicated otherwise.

1.1 Key points from the latest release

Asylum

There was a 5% (+1,101) increase in asylum applications in the year ending March 2014 (23,731) compared with the previous 12 months (22,630), although this remains well below the level seen in 2002 (84,132). The 1,101 increase was particularly driven by rises from Eritrea (+802), Syria (+559), and Albania (+474), which were offset by notable falls for some nationalities, including Iran (-479), India (-215) and Somalia (-179). The largest number of asylum applications in the year ending March 2014 was from nationals of Pakistan (3,285), Iran (2,233), Sri Lanka (1,813), Syria (1,722) and Eritrea (1,570).

Visitor visas issued (Before Entry)

There were 1.95 million visitor visas issued in the year ending March 2014, a 14% increase from the previous year (+244,812), including higher numbers issued to Chinese (+88,540 or +41%), Russian (+34,635 or +20%), Kuwaiti (+25,257 or +39%), Indian (+20,538 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+16,557 or +21%) nationals.

Work

In the year ending March 2014, there were 10% more work-related visas issued (up 14,606 to 156,378).The 14,606 increase was largely accounted for by higher numbers for the entrepreneur (+929) and investor (+421) categories, skilled workers (Tier 2, +12,342), and Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5, +3,509), partially offset by fewer visas issued for the two categories that have now been closed to new entrants; Tier 1 Post-Study (-3,567) and Tier 1 General (-1,252).

Study

Study-related visas issued rose by 6% (to 219,053) in the year ending March 2014. The increase included higher numbers for Chinese, Brazilian and Malaysian nationals, offset by falls for other nationalities, including Pakistan and India. The number of study-related sponsored visa applications (main applicants) rose 1% in the year ending March 2014 (209,011) compared to the previous 12 months (207,750). This included a 7% rise in sponsored visa applications for the university sector (to 168,075), and falls for the further education sector (-31%), English language schools (-2%) and independent schools (-2%).

Family

There were 4% fewer family visas issued in the year ending March 2014 (35,872). Family-related grants to stay permanently fell by 12% to 47,825, continuing the overall downward trend since the year ending March 2010 (75,852).

1.2 Other points to note

Admissions

There were 111.9 million journeys to the UK in the year ending March 2014, a 5% increase.

Visas issued (Before Entry)

In total there were 538,219 visas issued in the year ending March 2014, excluding visit and transit visas. This was an 8% (+38,578) increase, largely accounted for by higher numbers of work (+14,606), study (+12,291) and student visitor (+9,935) visas, partly offset by a fall in family visas granted (-1,583).

There is evidence that recent increases in visas issued have reflected higher numbers of short term visas. The short story accompanying this bulletin, ‘Entry clearance visas by length’, indicated that the increase from 2012 to 2013 in total visas issued, excluding visit and transit visas, was accounted for by higher numbers of short-term (less than 1 year) visas.

Student visitors

There was a 14% increase in student visitor visas issued, to 79,456 for the year ending March 2014. Student visitors are normally only allowed to stay for up to 6 months (11 months for English Language schools) and cannot extend their stay.

Extensions

There were 2% fewer (-5,429) grants of extensions in the year ending March 2014 (276,050). There were fewer work-related extensions (-37,201), including notable falls in two categories that had been closed to new entrants; Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study. This fall was partially offset by increases in the entrepreneur and (Tier 2) skilled workers categories. There were also increases for family-related grants (12,539, notably in the new Family Life (10-year) category), Other grants (+17,486, mainly discretionary) and study grants (+1,747).

Looking at the data in terms of individuals’ previous category, 6,238 former students were granted extensions for work in 2013 (main applicants) compared with 38,505 for 2012. This large fall reflected the closure of the Tier 1 Post Study category in 2012.

EEA

In the 9 months since the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013, 416 applications were received from Croatians for either authorisation to work or for a registration certificate confirming that the applicant is exercising a right to reside in the UK.

The SAWS and SBS closed at the end of 2013, when restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals ended. These arrangements have not been open to Croatian nationals.

Settlement

There were 5% fewer (-7,023) grants of permission to stay permanently (settlement), falling to 131,998 in the year ending March 2014. The 7,023 decrease was accounted for by falls in work-related (-9,350) and family grants (-6,685) partly offset by increases in asylum-related (+1,798) and other grants (+7,214).

Detention

The number of people entering detention in the year ending March 2014 increased to 30,113, up 5% on the previous year (28,733). There was a continuing decline in the proportion of detainees being removed to 56% in the year ending March 2014 compared with 60% in the previous 12 months. There was an increase in the proportion of detainees granted temporary admission or release from 33% to 37%.

As at the end of March 2014, 2,991 people were in detention, 5% higher than the number recorded at the end of March 2013 (2,853).

In the first quarter of 2014, 19 children entered detention in immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and pre-departure accommodation, which, together with the figure for the first quarter of 2011, is the lowest since the series began in 2009.

Removals and Voluntary Departures

The number of enforced removals from the UK fell by 12% (-1,662), to 12,621 in the year ending March 2014. This was the lowest figure since the series began in 2004.

However, there was a much larger increase of 25% (+7,344) in total voluntary departures, to 37,227 in the year ending March 2014. Over the same period the number of passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed also increased by 3% (+432) to 14,265.

Further, more detailed, analysis can be found below.

2. Data tables

Listing of the data tables included in ‘Immigration statistics, January to March 2014’.

3. Work

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

3.1 Introduction

This section includes figures on work-related visas issued, passenger arrivals, extensions granted, and permissions to stay permanently for non-EEA nationals. It also includes figures on long-term immigration to work (i.e. those intending to stay for at least 12 months for work) for non-EU nationals.

3.2 Key facts

In the year ending March 2014, there were 10% more work-related visas issued (up 14,606 to 156,378), 26% fewer extensions (down to 106,919) and 15% fewer permissions to stay permanently (down to 51,972) compared with the previous 12 months.

In 2013, there were an estimated 44,000 non-EU long-term immigrants for work (down 1% from 2012) based on survey estimates from the International Passenger Survey (IPS).

The 14,606 increase in work-related visas was largely accounted for by higher numbers for skilled workers (Tier 2, +12,342), and for Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5, +3,509), partially offset by fewer visas issued for high value workers (Tier 1) which fell by 3,450. The 3,450 fall for high value workers (Tier 1) was accounted for by fewer visas in the two categories that have now been closed to new entrants; Tier 1 Post-Study (-3,567) and Tier 1 General (-1,252), and partially offset by increases for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur (+929) and Tier 1 Investor (+421) categories.

Work-related grants of extensions were 26% lower (-37,201) in the year ending March 2014 (106,919). There were notable falls in two categories that had been closed to new entrants: Tier 1 General (from 51,117 to 23,678) and the Tier 1 Post-Study (from 23,149 to 713). These falls were partly offset by increases in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category and for skilled workers (Tier 2). Further information is given in the Extensions topic.

In the year ending March 2014, there were 49,586 skilled worker (Tier 2) sponsored visa applications (main applicants), an increase of 18%. The majority of applications were for the Information and Communication (21,134), Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (8,991), and Financial and Insurance Activities (6,033) sectors.

  Year ending March 2013 Year ending March 2014 Change Percentage change
Work-related visas issued 141,772 156,378 +14,606 +10%
of which:        
High value (Tier 1) visas 14,302 10,852 -3,450 -24%
Skilled (Tier 2) visas 70,130 82,472 +12,342 +18%
Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5) visas 36,927 40,436 +3,509 +10%
Non-PBS/Other work visas 20,413 22,618 +2,205 +11%
  Year ending December 2012 Year ending December 2013 Change Percentage change
Long-term immigration for work (1) 44,000 44,000 0 -1%
Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014 Before entry table be 04, International Passenger Survey, Office for National Statistics, Migration.

(1) Immigration for work data are estimates of the number of non-EU nationals intending to change their residence to the UK for at least 12 months based on the International Passenger Survey.

There have been falls in work-related visas issued, admissions and non-EU immigration since 2006 although recent falls have been at a reduced rate than previously, and visas issued data has started to increase.

The chart below shows that International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of non-EU immigration are substantially lower than work-related visas and admissions. However, the IPS estimates follow a broadly similar trend with falls from 2006. Two reasons why IPS estimates of immigrants for work are lower than figures for work visas issued or passenger arrivals are that the IPS figures exclude any workers who intend to stay for less than a year and exclude dependants. Further reasons are described in the user guide. The chart below also shows trends in extensions and permanent stay (settlement) for work reasons.

The chart shows the trends for work of visas issued, admissions and International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of non-EU immigration, extensions and work-related permissions to stay permanently (settlement) between the year ending December 2005 and th

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014 , Before entry volume 2 table be 04 q, admissions table ad 02 q, Extensions table ex 01 q and Settlement table se 02 q; Office for National Statistics Migration.

Admissions data include both those individuals who require a visa to enter the UK and those who in some circumstances don’t (for periods of up to 6 months), known as ‘non-visa nationals’. Work-related admissions data are included in Admissions tables ad 02 to ad 03 and ad 03 w.

For both work-related visas and admissions, the highest numbers relate to Indian, Australian and United States nationals. In 2012, the top 10 nationalities (see chart below) were the same for both series, apart from a difference in the order. Some of the differences in the ranking between visas and admissions data for 2012 may be due to timing differences, for example, some visas granted in 2012 may be used in 2013. Additionally, some individuals admitted within the Creative and Sporting category (part of Tier 5) do not need a visa, and this largely explains the higher number of admissions (estimated at 26,700) of United States nationals compared to numbers issued with a visa (13,703).

(Total 145,110)

The chart shows visas issued by nationality in 2012. The chart is based on data in Table be 06 q w.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry table be 06 q w.

For 2012 data, the latest available admissions data by nationality, the nationality breakdown for those granted extensions for work (see chart below) is in some respects different from the top 10 nationality rankings for admissions and for visas. Nigerian, Bangladeshi, Turkish and Sri Lankan nationals accounted for the fourth, seventh, eighth and tenth highest number of extensions for work.

The main explanation for the difference in the nationality breakdowns compared with work-related admissions and visas is that over half of the grants to Nigerian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan nationals were grants as high value individuals under the (Tier 1) Post-Study route. Since they originally entered via a study route, they are not prominent in the nationality rankings for work-related admissions and visas. Turkish nationals also have special provision to switch into the ‘work route’ under the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey.

Top 10 nationalities granted an extension to stay for work, 2012

(Total 94,549, excludes dependants)

The chart shows grants of extension of stay by nationality in 2012. The chart is based on data in Table ex 02 w.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Extensions table ex 02 w.

3.4 Permission to stay permanently (Settlement)

Some individuals who are admitted to the UK to work can become eligible to stay permanently after 5 years.

Work-related grants to stay permanently fell by 15% to 51,972 in the year ending March 2014, continuing earlier falls from 90,569 in the year ending March 2010 (see chart on long-term trends above). Before 2010, there had been a broadly rising trend in work-related grants of settlement that had partly reflected an increase in the number of people admitted in work categories 5 years earlier. The dip in the number of work-related grants in 2006 and 2007 reflects a change in the qualifying period from 4 to 5 years, delaying grants that would otherwise have occurred earlier.

The nationality profile for grants of permission to stay permanently in 2012, the latest available data by nationality, differs slightly to the profile for grants of work visas in 2012, with 8 of the top 10 nationalities also in the top 10 nationalities issued with visas for work. A notable difference was South Africa, ranked second for permission to stay permanently, but not seen in the top 10 for visas. From detailed data in Settlement table se 03, the most common of the qualifying categories for South Africans was ‘Commonwealth citizens with a United Kingdom born Grandparent taking or seeking employment’ (accounting for 955 of the 2,404 grants).

(Tier 2 skilled workers and Tier 5 youth mobility and temporary workers)

As part of the application process for visas and extensions for work reasons, main applicants must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from an employer. The Before entry tables vol 1 cs 01 q to cs 06 q provide data on the number of employers registered and their sponsor rating, the nationality of main applicants, and the corresponding numbers of main applicants for different industry sectors.

Register of sponsors
An employer may be counted more than once in the total if registered separately to sponsor both Tier 2 and Tier 5 individuals or registered for more than one sub-Tier. Altogether there were 27,625 employers on the register on 1 April 2014, 5% more than on 2 April 2013 (26,344).

Skilled individuals (Tier 2)
There were 18% more sponsored visa applications (main applicants) from skilled individuals in the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous year (from 42,115 to 49,586). The majority of the 49,586 certificates used related to the following sectors:

Information and Communication (21,134, up 17%),
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (8,991, up 18%),
Financial and Insurance Activities (6,033, up 14%),
Education (2,707, up 27%),
Manufacturing (2,517, up 5%),
Human Health and Social Work Activities (2,341, up 35%).

In the same period there were 20% more sponsored extension applications (main applicants) from skilled individuals than in 2012 (from 30,265 to 36,339). The majority of the certificates related to the following sectors:

Information and Communication (6,936, up 8%),
Human Health and Social Work Activities (6,419, up 18%),
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (5,275, up 21%),
Education (4,089, up 18%),
Financial and Insurance Activities (3,712, up 16%).

Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5)
There were 9% more sponsored visa applications (main applicants) from youth mobility and temporary workers in the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous year (from 40,366 to 43,895). The large majority of these 43,895 certificates related to the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (31,477, up 7%) and Education (4,670, up 16%) sectors. There were a total of 590 sponsored applications for extensions for Tier 5, the relatively small numbers reflecting the rules relating to extensions for such workers.

3.6 Grants of extensions by previous category

(excludes dependants)

Looking at the data in terms of individuals’ previous category, there were 72,944 extensions granted in 2013 for work (main applicants). These 72,944 grants included 64,976 grants to people who were previously in the work category (89%), and a further 6,238 grants to former students (9%). The 6,238 was a large fall from a comparable figure of 38,505 in 2012. This large fall reflected the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study category in 2012. Further information is given in the Extensions topic.

3.7 Grants of visas by length

The statistical short story Entry clearance visas by length published to supplement this bulletin indicated that

  • the majority of work issued in 2013 were long term visas (1 year or more; 60% of 155 thousand)

  • there were increases in 2013 in short term work visas (less than 1 year), up by five thousand; and in long term work visas (1 year or more), also up by five thousand.

3.8 Staying in the UK

The Migrant Journey Fourth Report reported that 33% of migrants issued with skilled work visas (with a potential path to settlement) in 2007 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system (9%) or have been granted permission to stay permanently (settlement) in the UK (25%) after 5 years (percentages may not sum to totals due to rounding).

The 33% of migrants issued with skilled work visas in the 2007 cohort who appear to have legally remained in the immigration system or have been granted permission to stay permanently after 5 years was a fall from 46% of such migrants in the 2004 cohort.

For people issued a skilled worker’s visa in 2004, 31% had gained settlement 5 years later, and a further 16% still had valid leave to remain in the UK.

Comparison of the 2004 cohort to the 3 subsequent cohorts indicates that there has been a rise in the proportion of people whose leave had expired after 5 years, from 54% in 2004 to 67% in 2007. This is reflected in the fall in the proportion of people from these cohorts who had valid leave to remain after 5 years, from 16% in 2004 to 9% in 2007. Some of this difference may be due to the increasing influence of the economic recession over the period analysed, which may have reduced the likelihood of some migrants in the later cohorts choosing to remain longer.

The proportion of skilled non-EEA workers who gained settlement after 5 years was similar for 2004, 2005 and 2006 (31%, 32% and 30% respectively) but was lower for the 2007 cohort (25%). Of the people issued a skilled worker’s visa in 2007, 38% had expired leave after 2 years.

Source: Home Office, ‘Migrant journey: fourth report’.

3.9 Data tables

Data on immigration for work, sourced from Home Office administrative systems, can be found in the following tables:

4. Study

Valid: 22 May to 28 August 2014

4.1 Introduction

This section includes data for non-EEA nationals’ study-related visas issued outside the UK, including trends in applications for different education sectors, and non-EU nationals’ long-term immigration to study (i.e. those intending to stay for at least 12 months to study). It also includes data on study-related passenger arrivals (number of journeys), and extensions of stay in the UK for study.

4.2 Key facts

Study-related visas issued have risen 6% in the year ending March 2014 (+12,291 to 219,053) compared with the year ending March 2013.

There were 209,011 sponsored study visa applications (main applicants) in the year ending March 2014, 1% higher than the previous 12 months (207,750). This included a 7% rise for the university sector (to 168,075), and falls for other sectors.

Non-EU long-term immigration for study fell by 12%, to 122,000, for the year ending December 2013, compared with the previous 12 months (139,000).

The 12,291 increase in study-related visas issued (excluding student visitors) includes higher numbers for Chinese (+4,720, +8%), Brazilian (+2,013, +102%), Malaysian (+1,901, +23%), Libyan (+1,732, +85%) and Iraqi (+1,157, +44%) nationals. There were falls in study visas issued to Pakistani (-4,104, -46%) and Indian (-2,689, -17%) nationals.

There was also a 14% increase in student visitor visas issued, to 79,456 for the year ending March 2014. Student visitors are normally only allowed to stay for up to 6 months (11 months for English Language schools) and cannot extend their stay.

Looking at the data in terms of individuals’ previous category, 6,238 former students were granted extensions for work in 2013 (main applicants). The comparable figure for 2012 was 38,505. This large fall reflected the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study category in 2012 see Extensions topic.

  Year ending March 2013 Year ending March 2014 Change Percentage change
Study-related visas issued (excl. Student visitors) 206,762 219,053 +12,291 +6%
of which:        
General student (Tier 4) 195,633 206,695 +11,062 +6%
Child student (Tier 4) 11,046 12,284 +1,238 +11%
         
Student visitor visas 69,521 79,456 +9,935 +14%
         
  Year ending Dec 2012 Year ending Dec 2013 Change: latest 12 months Percentage change
Long-term immigration for study (1) 139,000 122,000 -17,000 -12%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014 Before entry vol 2 table be 04 q, Office for National Statistics
(1) Immigration for study data are estimates of the number of non-EU nationals intending to change their residence to the UK for at least 12 months based on the International Passenger Survey.

The chart shows the trends of visas issued, admissions and International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of non-EU immigration for study between the year ending December 2005 and the latest data published. The data are sourced from Tables be 04 q and ad

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol 2 table be 04 q and Admissions table ad 02 q; Office for National Statistics
(1) Excludes student visitors who are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course) and cannot extend their stay.
(2) For periods prior to the year ending September 2008, the count of student admissions is not comparable as there was no specific admissions category for student visitors who may then have been recorded as either students or visitors.

The above chart shows that IPS long-term immigration estimates, while being substantially lower, follow a broadly similar trend to student visas issued and passenger arrivals, with increases in all three series during 2009 and decreases after 2011. Two of the reasons why IPS estimates of students arriving are lower than figures for student visas issued or passenger arrivals are that the IPS figures exclude the many students who intend to stay for less than a year and dependants of those immigrating for the purposes of study.

Despite the general trend being similar, there are instances where the trends in visas issued, admissions and IPS estimates occasionally diverge. This apparent discrepancy is in part due to the potential for a margin of error that is inherent in sample surveys, together with possible changes in the proportion intending to stay for more than a year and the time difference between a visa being issued and the individual arriving.

The number of study-related visas issued (excluding student visitors) rose by 6% (+12,291), from 206,762 in the year ending March 2013 to 219,053 in the year ending March 2014. There were notable increases for Chinese (+4,720 or +8%), Brazilian (+2,013 or +102%), Malaysian (+1,901 or +23%), Libyan (+1,732, +85%) and Iraqi (+1,157, +44%) nationals. The largest decreases in visas issued were -4,104 (-46%) for Pakistani and -2,689 (-17%) for Indian nationals.

Top 10 nationalities issued study visas (excluding student visitors), year ending March 2014

(Total 219,053)

The chart shows visas issued for the purposes of study by nationality for the year ending March 2014. The chart is based on data in Table be 06 q s.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol 4 table be 06 q s

The top 10 nationalities accounted for two-thirds (66%) of all study visas issued in the year ending March 2014, with the top 5 nationalities (China, United States, India, Nigeria and Malaysia) accounting for over half (51%).

The number of study-related visas issued to Chinese nationals has increased steadily since the year ending December 2005 (18,977) and for the year ending December 2013 was at the highest level recorded (62,563) using comparable data.

By contrast the numbers of study-related visas (excluding student visitors) issued to Indian and Pakistani nationals have fallen since their peaks in the years ending June 2010 (68,238) and June 2011 (42,710) respectively.

4.4 Student visitors

Student visitors are issued with a visa for a maximum of 6 months in duration or in a very small number of cases for 11 months if studying an English language course. Student visitors are not counted as long-term migrants and cannot extend their stay, so they are not included within the references to study visas in this section.

In year ending March 2014, 79,456 student visitor visas were issued, 14% more (+9,935) than in year ending March 2013. Most of the 9,935 increase related to European nationals (+3,691) and Asian nationals (+2,629), with the highest increase amongst Chinese (+1,984), Libyan (+1,796), Turkish (+1,414) and Russian (+1,324) nationals. The number of visas issued to student visitors has increased steadily since the category was introduced in September 2007.

The increases in study and student visitor visas issued to Libyans are consistent with a return to previous levels, following civil unrest in Libya. However, Libyans still account for a very small fraction of the total. In the year ending March 2014, visas issued to Libyan nationals represented 2% of all study visas and 5% of all student visitor visas issued.  

Top 10 nationalities issued student visitor visas, year ending March 2014

(Total 79,456)

The chart shows student visitor visas issued by nationality for year ending March 2014. The chart is based on data in Table be 06 q s.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol 4 table be 06 q s

The top 10 nationalities in the chart above accounted for over two-thirds (71%) of the 79,456 student visitor visas issued in the year ending March 2014.

There were 266,000 student visitor admissions in the year ending June 2013, much higher than student visitor visas issued (72,496 over the same period). This is largely due to many of the top 10 nationalities for student visitor admissions being non-visa nationalities (including the United States and Brazil). Such nationals do not need to obtain a visa if they wish to come to the UK as a student visitor for up to 6 months and so are included in the admissions data but not the visas data.

4.5 Admissions

There were 6% fewer (-12,600) study-related admissions (excluding student visitors) in the year ending June 2013 (200,000) than in 2012.

4.6 Immigration for study

In the year ending December 2013, there were an estimated 122,000 non-EU long-term study-related migrants, 12% fewer than in the previous 12 months (139,000). Source: ONS, Long-Term International Migration

4.7 Extensions of stay

Study-related grants of extensions rose by 2% (+1,747) to 100,709 in the year ending March 2014. This followed a 29% fall from 140,342 in the year ending March 2011 to 98,962 in the year ending March 2013. The study-related grants of extensions include 789 grants under the new Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme introduced on 6 April 2013.

Note that student visitors are normally only allowed to stay for up to 6 months (11 months for English language schools) and cannot extend their stay.

On 1 April 2014 there were 1,681 educational institutions on the UK Visas and Immigration register of sponsoring educational institutions. This was 1% lower than the number on 2 January 2014 (1,706), and 8% lower than a year earlier (2 April 2013, 1,820) which continues the falls seen since the published series began in October 2011 (2,370).

The decrease in the number of sponsoring educational institutions is consistent with the introduction of new accreditation criteria and conditions of status for educational sponsors from April 2011.

The chart shows the trends in confirmations of acceptance of studies used in applications for visas by education sector since 2010 to the latest data available. The chart is based on data in Table cs 09 q.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol 1 table cs 09 q
“Universities” relate to UK-based Higher Education Institutions.
“Further education” relates to tertiary, further education or other colleges.

The number of study-related sponsored visa applications (main applicants) rose 1% in the year ending March 2014 (209,011) compared to the previous 12 months (207,750). This included different trends for different sectors. In particular there was a 7% rise in sponsored visa applications for the university sector (to 168,075), and falls in the further education sector (to 20,538, -31%), English language schools (to 3,415, -2%) and independent schools (to 13,492, -2%).

There were 92,287 sponsored applications for extensions (main applicants) in the year ending March 2014, 2% more than in the previous 12 months, but, again the change was not uniform across the education sectors. There were 8% more sponsored applications for extensions in the university sector (to 58,450), and falls in the further education sector (to 29,003, -5%), English language schools (to 933, - 42%) and independent schools (to 2,031, -12%).

4.9 Grants of visas by length

The statistical short story published to supplement this bulletin indicated that

  • the majority of study visas issued in 2013 were long term visas (1 year or more; 72% of 219 thousand)

  • there were increases in 2013 in short term study visas issued (less than 1 year; up by nine thousand).

4.10 Staying in the UK

The Migrant Journey Fourth Report reported that 15% of migrants issued student visas in 2007 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system or settled in the UK after 5 years. After 5 years 14% had some form of valid leave to remain and 1% had been granted permission to stay permanently (settlement).

Comparison of the 4 cohort years suggests that there has been a sizable fall in the proportion of student migrants who still had valid leave to remain in the UK 5 years after their arrival, or who had achieved permanent settlement in the UK, from 23% in the 2004 cohort to 15% in the 2007 cohort. This is consistent with the tightening of the Immigration Rules for students since September 2007.

Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Fourth Report.

4.11 Data tables

Data on student immigration, sourced from Home Office administrative systems, can be found in the following tables:

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on student immigration.

5. Family

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

5.1 Introduction

This topic focuses on non-EEA nationals who come to the UK for family reasons. Data on visas, admissions to the UK, extensions of stay, settlement and estimates of immigration for family reasons from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) are used to explore immigration for family reasons.

There are a number of ways that people can come to the UK for family reasons. The traditional ‘family route’ – where people come to join or accompany family members who are either British citizens or settled in the UK, as ‘visitors’ – where people come for a short time to visit family members, or as ‘other dependants joining or accompanying’ – where people come as dependants of migrants, for example those working or studying in the UK.

The data presented in this topic differentiate between those immigrating to the UK via the ‘family route’ and those coming as ‘other dependants joining or accompanying’ migrants. ‘Visitors’ are excluded from the analysis.

Following a consultation on family migration, a number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into effect in July 2012. Within this analysis it is not possible to separately identify applications made under the previous or new rules. However, it is likely that changes to the Immigration Rules have impacted on the figures. Details of these changes, and more information on the ways that people can come to the UK for family reasons, are included in the family section of the User Guide.

5.2 Key facts

In the year ending March 2014, 35,872 family route visas were issued. This is a decrease of 4% compared with the year ending March 2013 (37,455). There was a 9% increase in the number of visas issued to other dependants joining or accompanying migrants in the UK (77,394) compared with the previous 12 months (71,029).

The proportion of resolved family route visa applications that were refused was 30%. This compares with 33% in the previous 12 months.

There were 37,338 extensions of stay for family reasons in the year ending March 2014. Of this total, 17,623 (47%) were granted under the spouse category and 19,615 (53%) were granted under the new Family Life (10-year) category.

Family-related grants to stay permanently fell by 12% to 47,825, continuing the overall downward trend since the year ending March 2010 (75,852).

In 2013 (the latest data available), the IPS estimated that 45,000 non-EU nationals immigrated to the UK to accompany or join others, with the intention of staying for a year or more. This compares to 39,000 in 2012.

  Year ending March 2013 Year ending March 2014 Change: latest 12 months Percentage change
Family-related visas issued 37,455 35,872 -1,583 -4%
of which:        
Partners 28,393 26,418 -1,975 -7%
Children 3,990 3,630 -360 -9%
Other Dependants 5,072 5,824 +752 +15%
         
All other dependants (excl. Visitors visas) 71,029 77,394 +6,365 +9%
         
  Year ending December 2012 Year ending December 2013 Change: latest 12 months Percentage change
Long-term immigration to accompany or join others (1) 39,000 45,000 +5,000 +13%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014 Before entry vol 2 table be 01 q, Office for National Statistics.
(1) Immigration for family data are estimates of the number of non-EU nationals intending to change their residence to the UK for at least 12 months based on the International Passenger Survey. Latest 12 months for long-term immigration to accompany or join others data is 2013. Changes are calculated on unrounded data.

IPS estimates of non-EU immigration of those accompanying or joining others in the UK include those arriving on family visas, as well as persons accompanying those who are arriving for other reasons, such as for work or study. In 2013, IPS estimates show that 45,000 non-EU nationals immigrated to the UK for family reasons.

The chart below shows that IPS estimates of immigration for family reasons follow a broadly similar trend to the total visas issued through the family route and to other dependants, although IPS estimates are substantially lower. A reason for this is that the IPS figures exclude the many people who come to the UK but intend to stay for less than a year; visa figures would include these people. These measures of immigration for family reasons showed a general downward trend overall since March 2007, albeit with a period of increases around 2010. Visas issued to other dependants have shown a small increase since the year ending June 2013 and the most recent data show that family visas have also shown a small increase.

The trend for IPS estimates appears to be similar to figures for family visas alone; however, this is coincidental given the IPS category includes all migrants intending to stay for a year or more who describe their main reason for migration as to ‘accompany or join’, regardless of the type of visa they hold (so this would tend to include dependants of those arriving).

The chart shows the trends in visas issued and International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of immigration for family reasons between the year ending December 2005 and the latest data published. The visa data are sourced from Table be 04 q. Estimates fr

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol 2 table be 04 q; Office for National Statistics.
(1) Includes all dependants (e.g. dependants for work and study), but excludes visitors.

Despite the general trends being similar, there are instances, visible from the chart above, where the trend in family visas issued and IPS estimates of non-EU immigration to accompany or join others appear to be slightly different. It is possible that these differences can be accounted for by the inherent variability associated with sample surveys. There is also the possibility that people intending to stay in the UK for a year or more, or who are arriving for family reasons, do not state this when interviewed for the IPS. It is also expected that there will be a time lag between an application for a visa and the person arriving in the UK, and that this will feature in the IPS estimates.

5.4 Visas

In the year ending March 2014, 35,872 family-related visas were issued. This is a decrease of 4% compared with the year ending March 2013 (37,455).

Nationalities with the highest number of visas issued for family reasons in the year ending March 2014 were Pakistan (13%), India (10%), United States (5%), Nepal (4%) and Sri Lanka (4%). Of these nationalities, Pakistan and Nepal decreased by 31% and 29% respectively compared with the previous year. There were increases for India (+19%), Sri Lanka (+13%) and the United States (+7%).

Of the total visas issued for family reasons, 26,418 (74%) were issued to partners, 3,630 (10%) were issued to children and 5,824 (16%) were issued to other dependants. Compared with the year ending March 2013, the number of family visas issued to partners fell by 7%, visas issued to children fell by 9% and visas issued to other dependants increased by 15%.

A visa application is resolved when a visa has been issued, refused or withdrawn, or when an application has lapsed. In the year ending March 2014, 30% of resolved family-related visa applications were refused. This compares with 33% in the previous year.

Other dependants can be issued with a visa to join or accompany migrants who have not been granted the right to stay permanently in the UK. In the year ending March 2014, 77,394 of these visas (excluding visitors) were issued, an increase of 9% compared with the previous 12 months (71,029). Of the 77,394 visas issued, 59% (45,879) were issued to other dependants of workers, 26% (19,821) to other dependants of students and 15% (11,694) to other dependants accompanying or joining a migrant in the UK.

Despite the increase in visas issued to other dependants joining or accompanying migrants (+9%), the level is over a quarter lower than the peak of around 107,000 in the year ending March 2007 (Table be 01 q). There was a sharp decrease in the number of visas issued to dependants coming to the UK between the year ending June 2011 and the year ending December 2012 and this was, in part, consistent with changes to the rules governing visas issued to those coming to the UK for work or study and their dependants, from December 2010 and April 2011 respectively.

5.5 Admissions

Admissions for family reasons fell to 22,960 in the year ending June 2013 (compared with 29,510 in the previous 12 months), continuing the overall trend since 2006.

5.6 Immigration for family reasons

The IPS estimate for non-EU nationals accompanying or coming to join family or friends for a year or more was 45,000 in 2013. This compares to 39,000 issued in the previous 12 months (+13%; not a statistically significant change).
Source: ONS, Long-Term International Migration

5.7 Extensions of stay

Statistics on extensions of stay relate to people wishing to extend or change the status of their stay in the UK. One of the ways that people can do this is for family reasons, and main applicants and dependants can apply under fiancé(e), spouse, UK-born children, other relative categories and the new Family Life (10-year) route (where partners and parents who apply in the UK are granted leave to remain on a 10-year route to settlement on the basis of their family life – further information is given in the Extensions topic).

In the year ending March 2014, there were 37,338 grants of extension for family-related reasons. This is an increase of 12,539 compared with the previous 12 months, which follows year-on-year decreases in each of the previous 3 years.

Of the 37,338 extensions for family reasons, 19,615 (53%) were granted under the Family Life (10-year) route and 17,623 (47%) were granted under the spouse category. Few extensions of stay were granted under the UK-born children, fiancé or other relative categories.

The increase in the number of grants of extensions of stay for family reasons was accounted for by a rise in grants in the new Family Life (10-year) category, from 5,625 to 19,615. There was a fall in grants to spouses, from 19,107 to 17,623.

As well as an increase in the number of grants of extensions of stay, there has also been an increase in the number of refusals of family-related extensions of stay. Refusals of family-related extensions rose from 4,220 in the year ending March 2013 to 17,317 in the year ending March 2014 (32% of all decisions); 13,897 refusals were under the new Family Life (10-year) route.

Dependants of migrants in other routes, for example workers and students, excluding visitors, can also apply to extend their stay in the UK. In the year ending March 2014, 62,717 extensions were granted to dependants, a decrease of 8,080 (-11%) from the previous 12 months.

Analysis of extensions of stay by previous category shows that the 35,771 extensions granted to main applicants in 2013 for family reasons included 8,108 people previously in the family route (23%), 5,941 former students (17%), and 4,900 previously in the work category (14%).

5.8 Settlement

Family-related grants to stay permanently fell by 12%, to 47,825, in the year ending March 2014. This continues the overall downward trend since the year ending March 2010 (75,852).

The majority of settlement grants were for spouses (39,514; 83%), with the remainder for children (6,246; 13%), parents and grandparents (508; 1%) and other or unspecified dependants (1,557; 3%).

There were decreases in all the family categories: an 11% fall (-5,030) in grants to spouses, a 3% fall (-180) in grants to children, a 62% fall (-814) in grants to parents and grandparents and a 30% fall (-661) in grants to other or unspecified dependants.

Family-related grants of settlement have recently fluctuated. Trends in settlement are likely to be influenced by resource availability.

5.9 Staying in the UK

Analysis undertaken for the Migrant Journey Fourth Report showed that 67% of migrants issued family visas in 2007 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system after 5 years. Of these, 3% had some form of valid leave to remain and 64% had achieved settlement. This is an increase from 2004 when 60% of migrants issued family visas appeared to have legally remained in the UK. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Fourth Report.

5.10 Data tables

Data on family immigration, sourced from Home Office administrative systems, can be found in the following tables:

The Office for National Statistics publishes estimates of those coming to join or accompany others.

6. Before Entry

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

6.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to applications for and issue of entry clearance visas, and passengers refused entry at ports.

6.2 Key facts

There were 538,219 visas issued in the year ending March 2014, excluding visitor and transit visas, 8% (+38,578) higher than in the year ending March 2013. This increase was largely accounted for by higher numbers of work (+14,606), study (+12,291) and student visitor (+9,935) visas, partly offset by a fall in family visas (-1,583).

The number of student visitor visas issued continued to increase, reaching 79,456 in the year ending March 2014 (+14%). Student visitor visas are issued for short-term study (up to 6 months or 11 months for English Language courses) and cannot be extended.

There were almost 2 million (1,952,842) visitor visas issued in the year ending March 2014, 14% higher (+244,812) than in the previous 12 months. Much of the increase was accounted for by higher numbers issued to Chinese (+88,540 or +41%), Russian (+34,635 or +20%), Kuwaiti (+25,257 or +39%), Indian (+20,538 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+16,557 or +21%) nationals.

There is evidence that recent increases in visas issued have reflected higher numbers of short term visas. The short story Entry Clearance Visas by Length indicated that the increase from 2012 to 2013 in total visas issued, excluding visitor and transit visas, was accounted for by higher numbers of short-term (less than 1 year) visas.

The number of passengers refused entry at port rose by 6% to 16,570 in the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous 12 months (15,605).

Visas issued by reason (excluding visitor and transit visas)

  Total issued (1) Work Study Student visitors (2) Family Dependant joining or accompanying Other
Year              
Year ending March 2009 577,648 182,073 235,611 42,203 52,236 34,467 31,058
Year ending March 2010 604,014 152,993 313,309 38,756 49,443 16,001 33,512
Year ending March 2011 609,337 161,809 295,086 51,137 52,768 15,690 32,847
Year ending March 2012 529,901 148,589 226,556 65,361 44,585 13,072 31,738
Year ending March 2013 499,641 141,772 206,762 69,521 37,455 11,691 32,440
Year ending March 2014 538,219 156,378 219,053 79,456 35,872 11,694 35,766
Change: latest year +38,578 +14,606 +12,291 +9,935 -1,583 +3 +3,326
Percentage change +8% +10% +6% +14% -4% 0% +10%
The chart shows the number of entry clearance visas issued, excluding visitor and transit visas, between 2005 and the latest rolling year available. The data are available in Table be 04 q, Before Entry vol. 2.

Table and chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, based on data in Before entry vol. 2 table be 04 q.
(1) Figures exclude visitor and transit visas.
(2) The student visitor category was introduced in September 2007. 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. The data include those who applied on the ‘Short-term student’ endorsement prior to the introduction of the student visitor category. For consistency and comparability over time student visitor visas have been excluded from study-related totals. For further discussion of study and student visitors see the study section.

The falls in work, study and family visas issued since 2010 are consistent with policy changes which came into effect from the end of 2010. The latest increases for work and study may reflect increased levels of applications for particular industry and educational sectors. Detailed briefing on the trends of visas issued for work, study or family reasons (together with dependants joining or accompanying) are available in the work, study and family sections.

Visas issued by nationality

There were 538,219 visas issued in the year ending March 2014, excluding visitor and transit visas, 38,578 higher than in the year ending March 2013 (499,641).

The increase included higher numbers of visas issued to Chinese (+7,585 or +10%), Indian (+5,327 or +7%), Libyan (+3,529 or +79%) and Russian (+2,623 or +13%) nationals. The increase for Libyan nationals suggests that the levels of visas issued are continuing to return to those seen prior to the start of civil unrest in the country.

Over half of these visas issued in the year ending March 2014 were to Asian nationals (52% or 279,663) with a further quarter issued to American nationals (12% or 67,214) and African nationals (12% or 63,506). The following map illustrates that 4 of the top 10 nationalities issued visas in the year ending March 2014 were Asian (China, India, Pakistan, Philippines), 2 European (Russia, Turkey), and 1 nationality each from the Americas (USA), Oceania (Australia), Africa (Nigeria) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia).

The top 10 nationalities accounted for 60% of the total. Chinese nationals (excludes Hong Kong) were issued the highest number of visas in the year ending March 2014 (81,464, 15%), followed by Indian nationals (80,977, 15%) and United States nationals (36,228, 7%).

Top 10 nationalities issued visas in the year ending March 2014

(Total 538,219, excluding visitor and transit visas)

The image shows the number of entry clearance visas issued, excluding visitor and transit visas, for the top 10 nationalities in the year ending March 2014. The data are available in Table be 06 q, Before Entry vol. 3.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Before entry vol. 3 table be 06 q
(1) China excludes Hong Kong.

Visas issued by reason and nationality

The number of work-related visas issued fell between the year ending March 2011 and the year ending March 2013. Since then, the levels have increased from 141,772 in the year ending March 2013 to 156,378 in the year ending March 2014. Over half of the 14,606 increase was accounted for by higher numbers for Indian (+6,020, +12%), United States (+1,116, +8%) and Australian (+1,035, +7%) nationals.

The number of study visas issued increased from 191,584 in 2005 to a peak of 320,183 in the year ending June 2010 and then fell to 204,469 in the year ending June 2013. The number then rose to 219,053 in the year ending March 2014, an increase of 12,291 compared with the previous 12 months (206,762). This 12,291 (+6%) increase included higher numbers issued to Chinese (+4,720, +8%), Brazilian (+2,013, +102%), Malaysian (+1,901, +23%), Libyan (+1,732, +85%) and Iraqi (+1,157, +44%) nationals. There were large falls in study visas issued to Pakistani (-4,104, -46%) and Indian (-2,689, -17%) nationals.

There was a 9,935 (+14%) increase in student visitor visas issued in the year ending March 2014, including higher numbers to Chinese (+1,984, +22%), Libyan (+1,796, +87%), Turkish (+1,414, +19%) and Russian (+1,324, +13%) nationals.

There were increases in the number of study visas (+1,732) and student visitor visas (+1,796) issued to Libyan nationals, which suggest there was a continuing return to previous levels, following civil unrest in Libya, although they remain a very small share of the total (2% and 5% of study and student visitor visas issued respectively).

After reaching a peak of 72,894 in the year ending March 2007, the number of family visas issued has generally fallen, including a fall of 4% in the year ending March 2014 (-1,583, to 35,872). The largest falls were for nationals of Pakistan (-2,083, -31%), Bangladesh (-726, -39%), Nepal (-633, -29%), Jamaica (-258, -38%) and the Philippines (-287, -30%). There was an increase for Syrian nationals (almost tripling from 306 to 861), which is consistent with continuing civil unrest in Syria since early 2011. There was also an increase for Indian nationals (up 589 to 3,672).

There were almost 2 million (1,952,842) visitor visas issued in the year ending March 2014, 14% higher (+244,812) than the previous 12 months. This increase was largely due to higher numbers issued to Chinese (+88,540 or +41%), Russian (+34,635 or +20%), Kuwaiti (+25,257 or +39%), Indian (+20,538 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+16,557 or +21%) nationals. By contrast, the largest falls were in visas issued to nationals of South Africa (-5,022 or -6%), Ghana (-2,881 or -15%) and Iran (-963 or -11%).

6.3 Data tables

Further data on entry clearance visas, sponsored visa applications for the work and study routes (described further in the Work and Study topics), and passengers refused entry at port can be found in the following tables:

7. Admissions

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

7.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to the number of journeys made by people entering the UK. Where an individual enters the country more than once, each arrival is counted. For non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control, more detailed information is available on their nationality and purpose of their journey.

Total passenger arrival data are available to the year ending March 2014; data on the purpose of journey (e.g. visit, work, study) to the year ending June 2013; and data for individual nationalities are available up to the end of 2012.

7.2 Key facts

The total number of journeys increased by 5% to 111.9 million in the year ending March 2014 compared with 107.0 million in the previous 12 months.

The higher number of journeys in the year ending March 2014 (up 4.9 million) was accounted for by 3.8 million more journeys by British, other EEA and Swiss nationals (totalling 97.9 million) and 1.1 million more journeys by non-EEA nationals (13.9 million).

For non-EEA nationals, more detailed data by category are less up to date than the totals and do not yet show a comparable increase. Instead it was broadly flat for the year ending June 2013 (13.0 million journeys or a fall of 1%). There was a slight increase in the work category (+1% or +1,730) and falls for the study (-6% or -12,600), student visitor (-10% or -29,700) and family (-22% or -6,570) categories. The number of visitors increased by 2% (+0.2 million).

Admissions by purpose of journey – non-EEA nationals

Year Total admissions (Millions) Work Study Student visitors (1) Family Visitors (Millions) Other (Millions)
Year ending June 2009 12.1 175,000 239,000 158,000 40,900 6.7 4.8
Year ending June 2010 12.4 159,000 320,000 227,000 35,400 6.9 4.8
Year ending June 2011 13.1 161,000 303,000 246,000 36,100 7.6 4.8
Year ending June 2012 13.2 142,000 212,000 295,000 29,500 7.8 4.7
Year ending June 2013 13.0 144,000 200,000 266,000 22,900 8.0 4.4
Change: latest year -0.2 +1,730 -12,600 -29,700 -6,570 +0.2 -0.3
Percentage change -1% +1% -6% -10% -22% +2% -7%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Admissions table ad 02 q.
(1) 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. The student visitor category was introduced in 2007 and may include individuals previously recorded as visitors, so for consistency and comparability over time they have been excluded from study-related totals. For further discussion of study and student visitors see the Study section [hyperlink].

 The chart shows the total number of journeys made into the UK by broad nationality between 2003 and the latest calendar year available. The data are available in Table ad 01.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Admissions table ad 01 q.

7.3 Non-EEA nationalities admitted to the UK, 2012

United States nationals accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of the 12.9 million journeys by non-EEA nationalities into the UK. The top 10 nationalities accounted for 69% of all journeys made.

Top 10 nationalities admitted, 2012

(Total number of admissions 12.9 million)

The chart shows admissions by nationality in 2012. The chart is based on data in Table ad 03.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2013, Admissions table ad 03.

7.4 Data tables

Further data on admissions are available in Admissions table ad 01 to ad 03.

8. Asylum

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

8.1 Introduction

This section covers asylum applications, initial decisions, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs), age disputes, support, resettlement and international comparisons.

8.2 Key facts

There were 23,731 asylum applications in the year ending March 2014, a rise of 1,101 (+5%) compared with the previous 12 months. The number of applications remains low relative to the peak number of applications in 2002 (84,132), and similar to levels seen since 2006 (23,608).

The number of initial decisions on asylum applications has decreased by 14% to 15,209 in the year ending March 2014. Of these decisions, 36% (5,433) were grants of asylum, a form of temporary protection or other type of grant.

At the end of March 2014, 19,685 of the applications for asylum received since April 2006 from main applicants were pending a decision (initial decision, appeal or further review). This was 38% more than at the end of March 2013.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service received 7,521 asylum appeals from main applicants in the year ending March 2014, a fall of 9% compared with the previous 12 months.

At the end of March 2014, 25,355 asylum seekers were being supported while their asylum claim was finally determined (under Section 95). The number of failed asylum seekers and their dependants receiving support (under Section 4) was 4,854.

Asylum applications and initial decisions for main applicants

Year Total applications Total initial decisions Granted (1) Granted as a % of initial decisions Refused Refused as a % of initial decisions
Year ending March 2010 20,441 24,510 5,955 24% 18,555 76%
Year ending March 2011 18,411 19,818 5,307 27% 14,511 73%
Year ending March 2012 19,826 16,970 5,778 34% 11,192 66%
Year ending March 2013 22,630 17,607 6,594 37% 11,013 63%
Year ending March 2014 23,731 15,209 5,433 36% 9,776 64%
Change: latest year 1,101 -2,398 -1,161 - -1,237 -
Percentage change +5% -14% -18% - -11% -

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Asylum table as 01.
(1) Granted includes grants of asylum, humanitarian protection, discretionary leave, leave to remain under family life or private life rules, leave outside the rules and UASC leave.

Most applications for asylum are made by those already in the country (89% of applications in the year ending March 2014) rather than by people arriving at port. Applicants tend to be young and male. Of those who applied for asylum in 2012, over half (57%) were between the ages of 18 and 39, and 72% were male. Figures for 2013 broken down by sex and age will be published in August 2014.

The chart below shows the annual number of asylum applications made since 2001.

The chart shows the number of asylum applications made between 2001 and the latest calendar year. The data are available in Table as 01.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Asylum table vol.1, table as 01.
(1) A process preventing certain nationalities from appealing a decision while in the country (non-suspensive appeals process) was introduced in 2002.
(2) Full overseas immigration controls operated by UK immigration officers (juxtaposed controls) were opened in France and Belgium in 2002 and 2004.
(3) Fast-track facilities for asylum applications were introduced in 2003.

Falls in asylum applications since 2002 coincide with: the introduction of a process preventing certain nationalities from appealing a decision while in the country in 2002; the opening of UK border controls (often termed ‘juxtaposed’ controls) in France and Belgium in 2002 and 2004 respectively; and the introduction of fast-track facilities for asylum applications in 2003.

8.3 Nationalities applying for asylum

In the year ending March 2014, the largest number of applications for asylum were from nationals of Pakistan (3,285), followed by Iran (2,233), Sri Lanka (1,813) and Syria (1,722).

The 1,101 increase in applications in the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous 12 months was driven by rises from a number of nationalities, in particular from Eritrea (+802), Syria (+559), and Albania (+474). While Eritrea saw the largest increase in applications, it remains fifth for overall numbers of asylum applications.

World events have an effect on which nationals are applying for asylum at any particular time. For example, there have been increases in the number of applicants from Syria since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in early 2011. Since the early nineties increasing numbers of people have sought asylum from Eritrea in the circumstances of international concern over human rights within the country.

Top 10 nationalities applying for asylum, year ending March 2014

(Total number of applications 23,731)

The chart shows the top ten nationalities applying for asylum, year ending March 2014.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Asylum table vol.1, table as 01 q.

8.4 Applications pending

At the end of March 2014, 19,685 of the applications received since April 2006 from main applicants were pending a decision (initial decision, appeal or further review), 38% more than at the end of March 2013 (14,225).

The increase is largely accounted for by a rise in the number pending an initial decision (+70%). Asylum applications rose by 5% over the same period.

8.5 Asylum appeals

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service received 7,521 asylum appeals from main applicants in the year ending March 2014, a fall of 724 (-9%) compared with the previous 12 months (8,245). This remains well below the peak in the number of appeals for the year ending June 2010 (16,560) using comparable data available from 2007.

In the year ending March 2014, the proportion of appeals dismissed was 68%, while 26% of appeals were allowed and 6% were withdrawn.

8.6 Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

There were 1,288 asylum applications from UASCs in the year ending March 2014, an increase of 15% from the year ending March 2013 (1,121). These applications represented 5% of all main applications for asylum in the year ending March 2014. Despite the recent increase in UASC applications, they remain below the peak of 4,060 in the year ending September 2008.

There were 792 initial decisions for UASCs in the year ending March 2014, 1% lower than in the year ending March 2013 (804). Overall, there was a fall in the proportion of decisions that were grants, from 77% of decisions in the year ending March 2013 to 67% in the year ending March 2014.

8.7 Age disputes

The Home Office disputes the age of some asylum applicants who claim to be children.

In the year ending March 2014, 318 asylum applicants had their age disputed and there were 418 recorded as having completed an age assessment. The number of disputes over the ages of applicants does not necessarily relate to the number of age assessments made in the same period.

Of those who completed age assessments in the year ending March 2014, 63% had a date of birth showing that they were over 18 when the age dispute was raised.

As announced in Immigration Statistics January–March 2013, an internal review of the UASC and age dispute data highlighted issues with the definitions used for previously published data. Previously published UASC figures from 2006 to 2011 have now been revised in this release.

8.8 Dependants

Including dependants, the number of asylum applications increased from 28,672 in the year ending March 2013 to 29,854 in the year ending March 2014. This is an average of 1 dependant for every 4 main applicants.

In the year ending March 2014, 4,148 initial decisions were made relating to dependants. Of these 1,444 (35%) were granted asylum, 197 (5%) were granted a form of temporary protection or other type of grant, and 2,507 (60%) were refused.

8.9 Support

At the end of March 2014, 25,355 asylum seekers and their dependants were being supported under Section 95. According to previously published figures, there were 80,123 asylum seekers in receipt of Section 95 in December 2003 (the start of the published data series).

There is a high concentration of those supported under Section 95 in a few local authority areas. For example, at the end of December 2013 the 5 local authorities with the greatest number (Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Middlesbrough) accounted for 27% of the total, while 75% of all those seeking asylum and supported under Section 95 were in 30 local authorities. The map below shows the local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales according to the number of asylum seekers and their dependants in receipt of Section 95 support within each.

Asylum seekers and their dependants supported under Section 95, by local authority, in England, Scotland and Wales as at 31 December 2013

The image shows those in receipt of asylum support under Section 95 by local authority for England, Scotland and Wales as at 31 December 2013. The data are available in Table as 16 q, Asylum vol. 2

Map notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January – March 2014, Asylum table vol. 2 table as 16 q, .
(1) Number of those in receipt of Section 95 support excludes those in Northern Ireland and cases where no Unitary or Local Authority geographic location information is available.

The number of failed asylum seekers and their dependants receiving support (under Section 4) at the end of March 2014 was 4,854. According to previously published figures, main applicant failed asylum seekers receiving support peaked at the end of September 2009 (12,019).

The overall falls in support applications and numbers receiving support are generally in line with the fall in the number asylum applications since their peak in 2002 (84,132 main applicants) and the clearance of a backlog of asylum cases from the early part of the century.

The method for processing figures for asylum support changed from the first quarter of 2013. Since 2013 figures have been produced using a new method which allows Home Office Statistics better access to the data for data quality purposes and improved reconciliation with administrative records. The data source for both new and previous methods remains the same. Caution should be taken when comparing earlier data with figures from the first quarter of 2013 onwards, as the figures are not directly comparable.

8.10 Resettlement

In addition to those asylum seekers who apply in the UK, resettlement schemes are offered to those who have been referred to the Home Office by UNHCR (the UN agency for refugees).

In 2013, a total of 967 refugees were resettled in the UK through this process, lower than the previous year (1,039).

8.11 International comparisons

Including dependants, the estimated total number of asylum applications to the EU27 was 408,900 in 2013, an increase of 31% on 2012 when there were 312,400 applications, and the highest since 2002 (from which comparable data are available).

Top 10 EU countries receiving asylum applications, 2013

(Total number of applications 408,900, including dependants)

 The chart shows the top 10 EU countries receiving asylum applications in 2013. The data are available in Table as 07.

(1) excludes Croatia which joined the EU on 1 July 2013

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Asylum table vol.2 table as 07.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

The UK had the fourth highest number of asylum applications within the EU in 2013, which is unchanged from 2012. In both 2013 and 2012, Germany, France and Sweden had more asylum applicants than the UK. In 2013 Hungary was in the top 10 (at sixth place) of EU countries receiving asylum applications for the first time.

When the relative size of resident populations of the 27 EU countries is taken into account, the UK ranked 16th in terms of asylum seekers per head of the population in 2013, compared with 13th in 2012.

Quarterly and annual statistics for asylum applications and first instance decisions for the EU Member States are also published by Eurostat (the European statistical organisation). Eurostat figures for 2013 show that the top 3 nationalities of those seeking asylum in the EU27 were Syria, Russia and Afghanistan.

Eurostat quarterly asylum figures are published in ‘Asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications’. The user guide also provides a discussion on the differences between the definition of asylum applications used in this release compared to those published by Eurostat.

8.12 Data tables

Data referred to here can be found in the following tables:

9. Extensions of stay

Valid: 22 May to 28 August 2014

9.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to the number of people, subject to immigration control, who are granted or refused permission to extend or change the status of their stay in the UK. An individual may make more than one application in any given year.

9.2 Key facts

Data include dependants unless stated otherwise.

Total decisions on extensions increased to 365,807 (up 16%, +50,258) in the year ending March 2014. Of these 365,807 decisions there were a total of 276,050 grants, 2% (-5,429) lower than the previous 12 months (281,479).

Work-related grants of extensions were 26% (-37,201) lower in the year ending March 2014 (106,919). There were notable falls in two categories that had been closed to new entrants: Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study. These falls were partly offset by increases in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 2 Skilled Workers categories.

There were 100,709 study-related grants of extensions, 2% (+1,747) higher than the previous 12 months but 28% (-39,633) lower than in the year ending March 2011 (140,342).

Family-related grants of extensions rose by a half (51%, +12,539) to 37,338.

Of the total decisions in the year ending March 2014, 25% (89,757) were refused compared with 11% (34,070) of decisions in the previous 12 months. This higher refusal rate was accounted for by higher numbers of refusals in the Work, Family and Other categories.

Looking at the data in terms of individuals’ previous category, 6,238 former students were granted extensions for work in 2013 (main applicants). The comparable figure for 2012 was 38,505. This large fall reflected the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study category in 2012.

Grants of extensions by reason, and refusals

Year Total decisions Total grants Work Study Family (1) Other (1) Refusals
Year ending March 2010 394,224 330,701 158,334 130,330 23,235 18,802 63,523
Year ending March 2011 369,163 307,957 124,732 140,342 20,374 22,509 61,206
Year ending March 2012 317,842 276,066 129,550 100,808 17,127 28,581 41,776
Year ending March 2013 315,549 281,479 144,120 98,962 24,799 13,598 34,070
Year ending March 2014 365,807 276,050 106,919 100,709 37,338 31,084 89,757
Change: latest 12 months +50,258 -5,429 -37,201 +1,747 +12,539 +17,486 +55,687
Percentage change +16% -2% -26% +2% +51% +129% +163%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Extensions table ex 01 q.
(1) The introduction of the new Family Life (10-year) route means that the total number of family and other grants are not fully comparable over time.

The chart below illustrates longer-term trends in grants and refusals to extend stay by calendar year.

The chart shows grants and refusals of an extension of stay between 2005 and the latest calendar year. The chart is based on data in Table ex 01.
Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Extensions table ex 01.

9.3 Grants of extensions for work

There were 106,919 work-related grants of extensions in the year ending March 2014, 26% lower than the previous 12 months (144,120). Grants in Tier 1 High Value and Tier 2 Skilled Work account for the large majority (97,253) of the 106,919 work-related grants.

Grants of extensions to Tier 1 High Value individuals for work fell from 77,079 to 32,210 (-58%) in the year ending March 2014. This was accounted for by a fall in grants in the Tier 1 General (from 51,117 to 23,678) and the Post-Study work routes (from 23,149 to 713), offset by an increase for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category (from 1,907 to 6,684).

The falls in Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study relate to the closure of these categories. The Tier 1 General route was closed to applicants who were outside the UK in December 2010 and to migrants who were already in the UK, in most immigration categories, in April 2011. However, the existing applications continued to be processed after this time. The Tier 1 Post-Study work route was closed to new applications on 6 April 2012; similarly, existing applications continued to be processed after this date.

There was an 18% increase in grants of extensions for Tier 2 Skilled Workers (from 55,262 to 65,043) in the year ending March 2014 accounted for by an increase in the Tier 2 General category, from 35,795 to 45,507. The increase is in part likely to relate to policy changes in 2008 following the introduction of the points-based system (PBS). Prior to 2008, skilled workers (Tier 2 equivalents) were able to obtain visas of up to 5 years which could be followed by applications for settlement, without an individual needing to apply for an extension. From the introduction of the PBS in 2008, the maximum visa length for skilled workers was 3 years and individuals who wanted to stay for longer (and to potentially qualify for settlement) needed an extension.

Grants of extensions: Tiers 1 and 2

Category Year ending March 2013 Year ending March 2014 Change: latest 12 months Percentage change
Total Tier 1 & pre-PBS equivalent 77,079 32,210 -44,869 -58%
of which:        
Tier 1 - Entrepreneurs 1,907 6,684 +4,777 +250%
Tier 1 - General 51,117 23,678 -27,439 -54%
Tier 1 - Post Study 23,149 713 -22,436 -97%
Total Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent 55,262 65,043 +9,781 +18%
of which:        
Tier 2 - General 35,795 45,507 +9,712 +27%

9.4 Grants of extensions for study

Study-related grants of extensions rose by 2% (+1,747) to 100,709 in the year ending March 2014. This followed a 29% fall from 140,342 in the year ending March 2011 to 98,962 in the year ending March 2013. The study-related grants of extensions include 789 grants under the new Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme introduced on 6 April 2013.

9.5 Grants of extensions for family reasons

Family-related grants of extensions rose by a half (51%, +12,539) to 37,338 in the year ending March 2014, after falling in each of the previous 3 years. The increase was accounted for by a rise in grants in the new Family Life (10-year) category from 5,625 to 19,615, and a fall in grants to spouses, from 19,107 to 17,623.

The introduction of the new Family Life (10-year) route means that the total numbers of family grants are not fully comparable over time and, since 9 July 2012, follows a new approach to people seeking to remain in the UK on the basis of their family and/or private life.

9.6 Grants of extensions for other reasons

Grants of extensions in other categories more than doubled (+17,486) to 31,084 in the year ending March 2014. This mainly reflected an increase in discretionary leave grants. From 9 July 2012, discretionary leave is no longer considered for new applicants seeking to stay in the UK on the basis of their family and/or private life (see the new approach taken to these cases referred to above). However, individuals granted discretionary leave before 9 July 2012 for family or private life reasons may apply to extend that leave when their period of discretionary leave expires.

9.7 Refusals of extensions by category

There were 89,757 extensions refused in the year ending March 2014, compared with 34,070 in the previous 12 months.

Work-related refusals of extensions rose by 81% (+6,399) from 7,862 to 14,261. There was an increase in Tier 1 refusals of an extension from 5,267 to 11,071. This was due to an increase in refusals of extensions to Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (from 1,371 to 9,546). The increase in refusals of extensions to Tier 1 Entrepreneurs follows the introduction of a credibility test and rule change on funds held. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in Tier 1 Post-Study refusals from 2,860 to 112 following the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study work route.

There were 17,317 refusals of a family-related extension in the year ending March 2014 compared with 4,220 refusals in the previous 12 months. The increase was accounted for by refusals under the new Family Life (10-year) route (13,897 in the year ending March 2014).

Refusals of study-related extensions fell by 18% from 13,565 to 11,097 in the year ending March 2014.

There were also increases in the “other” refusals category (up 38,659; from 8,423 to 47,082). Of the 38,659 increase, 8,024 were due to an increase in refusals of an extension under the Private Life category and the remainder are likely to mainly relate to refusals of discretionary leave.

9.8 Grants of extensions by previous category

(excludes dependants)

The text and table below provides an update of the article Extensions of stay by previous category published on 29 August 2013. Updates of the more detailed tables provided in the article are included in the Extensions tables.

The previous immigration category field which has been used to produce this analysis is non-mandatory i.e. it is normally completed by caseworkers during the process of granting an extension but cases can be processed without it being filled in. As a result, the previous category is not recorded on the administrative source database for a small proportion (6%) of grants in 2013.

The data presented relate to main applicants only. Since dependants are granted or refused an extension in line with the main applicant, the results for main applicants broadly apply for their dependants also.

There were 232,213 extensions granted in 2013, of which 72,944 (31%) were for work, 104,136 (45%) for study, 35,771 (15%) for family reasons and 19,362 (8%) for other reasons.

Looking at the data in terms of individuals’ previous category, there were 111,939 extensions granted in 2013 to people who were previously students. Of these 111,939 extensions, 99,107 (89%) allowed individuals to continue to study, a further 6,238 (6%) were granted for work and 5,941 (5%) were family-related grants. The corresponding proportions in 2012 were 62%, 33% and 4% respectively.

Of the 72,944 extensions granted in 2013 for work, 64,976 were to people who were previously in the work category (89%), and a further 6,238 were to former students (9%).

The 35,771 extensions granted in 2013 for family reasons included 8,108 people previously in the family route (23%), 5,941 former students (17%), and 4,900 previously in the work category (14%).

Of the 232,213 extensions granted in 2013, 190,102 (82%) allowed the individual to stay within their original broad category, with the other 18% having switched categories.

Grants of extension of stay in 2013, current category by previous category

(excludes dependants)

The chart shows grants of extension of stay in 2013, current category by previous category
Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Extensions table expc 01.

9.9 Nationalities granted an extension

(excludes dependants)

Of the total 232,213 extensions of stay in 2013, 67% (154,803) were granted to Asian nationals and 15% (34,674) were granted to African nationals.

Top 10 nationalities granted an extension to stay, 2013

(Total number of grants 232,213, excludes dependants)

The chart shows grants of extension of stay by nationality in 2013. The chart is based on data in Table ex 02.
Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Extensions table ex 02.

Nine of the top ten nationalities granted extensions in 2013 were also in the top ten list for 2012. The exception was Jamaica ranked 8th, with 5,396 grants (of which 2,832 grants were Discretionary leave and 1,666 grants were in the Family Life (10 year route) category).

9.10 Data tables

Further data on extensions are available in Extensions tables ex 01 to expc 01 o.

10. Settlement

Valid: 22 May to 28 August 2014

10.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to the number of people, subject to immigration control, who are granted or refused permission to stay permanently in the UK, known as settlement.

10.2 Key facts

In the year ending March 2014, the number of people granted permission to stay permanently fell by 5% to 131,998. The 7,023 decrease was accounted for by falls in work-related (-9,350) and family grants (-6,685) partly offset by increases in asylum-related (+1,798) and other grants (+7,214).

There were 51,972 work-related grants to stay permanently in the year ending March 2014, 15% lower than in the previous 12 months (61,322) and notably lower than in the year ending March 2010 (90,569).

Family-related grants to stay permanently fell by 12% to 47,825, continuing the overall downward trend since the year ending March 2010 (75,852).

Asylum-related grants to stay permanently rose by 12% to 16,415 in the year ending March 2014 but were 76% lower than the peak in 2005 (67,810). The level in the year ending March 2010 (2,862) was particularly low, reflecting a rule change in August 2005 that effectively delayed grants for some people. This rule change meant that people given refugee status no longer received a grant immediately, and instead they were given 5 years’ temporary permission to stay.

Grants to stay permanently for other reasons rose by 84%, to 15,786, returning to a similar level to the year ending March 2012. The rise was partly driven by an increase in grants under the Long Residency rules. The high number of grants in earlier years mainly resulted from a review of the backlog of cases from before March 2007 involving unsuccessful asylum applicants.

Grants to stay permanently by reason, and refusals

Year Total decisions Total grants Work Asylum-related Family Other Refusals
Year ending March 2010 230,366 216,480 90,569 2,862 75,852 47,197 13,886
Year ending March 2011 237,656 227,146 75,138 7,461 60,570 83,977 10,510
Year ending March 2012 158,538 152,108 70,905 13,263 52,125 15,815 6,430
Year ending March 2013 143,787 139,021 61,322 14,617 54,510 8,572 4,766
Year ending March 2014 139,936 131,998 51,972 16,415 47,825 15,786 7,938
Change: latest 12 months -3,851 -7,023 -9,350 +1,798 -6,685 +7,214 +3,172
Percentage change -3% -5% -15% +12% -12% +84% +67%

Table note

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Settlement table se 02 q.

The chart below illustrates longer-term trends in grants to stay permanently for the calendar years back to 2003.

The chart shows the number of people granted settlement by calendar year from 2003. The data are available in Table se 02.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Table se 02.

The increase in total numbers of people granted permission to stay permanently from 2001 to 2005 was mainly due to increases in work and asylum-related grants, which then fell in 2006 and 2007. This reflects changes to rules on how quickly those with refugee status or humanitarian protection were granted settlement and how quickly individuals qualified for work-related settlement. The higher total levels in 2009 and 2010 were due to grants given on a discretionary or other basis resulting from a review of the backlog of cases involving unsuccessful asylum applicants, and the falls in 2011 and 2012 follow the completion of the review. More generally, the numbers of applications and decisions reflect changes over time in levels of those entering the UK, as well as policy and legislative changes. Resources available in the Home Office can also affect the numbers.

10.3 Nationalities granted permission to stay permanently

Of the total 129,749 grants of permission to stay permanently in 2012, around half (54% or 70,612) were to Asian nationals and nearly a quarter (24% or 30,826) were to African nationals.

Data for grants by nationality in 2013 are planned to be published in Immigration Statistics April–June 2014, due to be released in August 2014.

Top 10 nationalities granted permission to stay permanently, 2012

(Total 129,749)

The chart shows grants of settlement by nationality in 2012. The chart is based on data in Table se 03.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Settlement table se 03.

10.4 Data tables

Further data on settlement are available in Settlement tables se 01 to se 06.

11. Citizenship

Valid: 22 May to 28 August 2014

11.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to the number of people who are granted or refused British citizenship.

11.2 Key facts

In the year ending March 2014, there were 215,300 decisions about British citizenship, 6% more than in the previous 12 months. Correspondingly there were 6% more people granted British citizenship (up by 11,250 to 206,892). The overall increase in the last decade is likely, in part, to reflect increased grants of permission to stay permanently (known as settlement).

Applications rose by 17% to 210,511 in the year ending March 2014. This increase included a higher number of applications received ahead of changes to the Life in the UK test English language requirement that came into force on 28 October 2013.

The 11,250 increase in grants of British citizenship was accounted for by higher numbers of people granted on the basis of residence (up 5,254 to 112,400) and marriage (up 7,246 to 46,909). Grants to children fell (by 169 to 43,417), as did grants for other reasons (by 1,081 to 4,166).

Grants and refusals of citizenship

Year Total decisions Total grants On basis of residence On basis of marriage On basis of children Other bases Refusals and withdrawals
Year ending March 2010 207,568 197,847 95,308 51,028 47,244 4,267 9,721
Year ending March 2011 203,278 195,369 95,066 45,365 48,676 6,262 7,909
Year ending March 2012 181,832 175,267 95,625 34,384 40,512 4,746 6,565
Year ending March 2013 202,742 195,642 107,146 39,663 43,586 5,247 7,100
Year ending March 2014 215,300 206,892 112,400 46,909 43,417 4,166 8,408
Change: latest 12 months 12,558 11,250 5,254 7,246 -169 -1,081 1,308
Percentage change +6% +6% +5% +18% 0% -21% +18%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Citizenship tables cz 01 q and cz 02 q.

The chart below illustrates longer-term trends in grants of citizenship by calendar year.

The chart shows the number of grants of British citizenship between 2003 and the latest calendar year. The data are available in Table cz 03.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Ctizenship table cz 03.

There has been a general increase in the last decade, with some fluctuation that is likely, in part, to reflect increased grants of permission to stay permanently (known as settlement) up until 2010. After a period of residence those granted settlement become eligible to apply for citizenship.

Grants of citizenship in 2008 were reduced when staff resources were temporarily transferred from decision-making to deal with the administration of new applications. There were 207,989 grants in 2013, more than double the level seen in 2001 (90,282) and the highest comparable annual total since records began in 1962.

Applications have also shown a rising trend since 2001 with notable increases in 2005 (211,911) and 2013 (232,262). The increase in applications made in 2005 may have reflected people anticipating the introduction of Knowledge of Life in the UK test on 1 November that year. Similarly the increase in 2013 may, in part, have been due to people anticipating the rule change to the English language element of the Life in the UK test as of 28 October 2013. See the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline

11.3 Grants of citizenship by previous nationality

Former Indian and Pakistani nationals have accounted for the largest numbers of grants in almost every year from 1998 to 2013, with the exception of 2007, when former nationals of Pakistan accounted for only the fifth highest number. Together, former Indian and Pakistani nationals accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of grants in 2013.

Top 10 previous nationalities granted citizenship, 2013

(Total number of grants 207,989)

The chart shows grants of citizenship by previous nationality in 2013. The chart is based on data in Table cz 06.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Citizenship table cz 06.

Increased grants to former nationals of Nepal and Poland placed them in the top 10 for the first time in 2013 (displacing Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe), reflecting increased grants of settlement to nationals of Nepal since 2005 and the issue of documents in recognition of permanent residence (under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006) to Poles since 2009.

11.4 Where are new citizens attending ceremonies?

While the total number of ceremonies attended has changed in line with grants, the geographical distribution has remained similar since 2009. The proportion of ceremonies in the London region was 54% in 2005 but fell to 42% by 2009, with increases over the same period in the proportions for the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the South East. However, in 2013 London remained the region with the highest proportion of ceremonies (41%).

11.5 Data tables

Further data on British citizenship are available in Citizenship tables cz 01 to cz 10.
In addition to applications and detailed breakdowns of decisions, these include information on refusals, citizenship ceremonies attended and renunciations of citizenship.

12. Detention

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

12.1 Introduction

The figures in this topic brief relate to the number of people entering, leaving or in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers, at immigration removal centres (IRCs), short-term holding facilities (STHFs) and pre-departure accommodation (PDA).

12.2 Key facts

The number of people entering detention in the year ending March 2014 increased to 30,113, up 5% on the previous year (28,733). Over the same period there was an increase of 4% in those leaving detention (from 28,764 to 29,801). The higher throughput may relate to the completion of a high number of detainee reviews since the start of 2013, which are conducted at regular intervals by an immigration official.

There was a continuing decline in the proportion of detainees being removed from 60% in the year ending March 2013 to 56% in the year ending March 2014. There was an increase in the proportion of detainees granted temporary admission or release from 33% to 37% in the same period.

As at the end of March 2014, 2,991 people were in detention, 5% higher than the number recorded at the end of March 2013 (2,853).

In the first quarter of 2014, 19 children entered detention in immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and pre-departure accommodation, which, together with the figure for the first quarter of 2011, is the lowest in the series.

People entering, leaving and in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

Year Entering detention Leaving detention In detention
Year ending March 2011 26,033 26,172 2,654
Year ending March 2012 27,594 27,197 3,034
Year ending March 2013 28,733 28,764 2,853
Year ending March 2014 30,113 29,801 2,991
Change: latest year + 1,380 + 1,037 + 138
Percentage change + 5% + 4% + 5%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Detention tables dt 01 q, dt 05 q and dt 11 q.

12.3 Length of detention

During the year ending March 2014, 29,801 people left detention. Of these, 18,115 (61%) had been in detention for less than 29 days, 5,703 (19%) for between 29 days and two months and 4,127 (14%) for between two and four months. Of the 1,856 (6%) remaining, 175 had been in detention for between one and two years and 39 for two years or longer.

Around a third of people leaving detention were detained for seven days or less (10,376). Of these, 6,425 (62%) were removed, 3,651 (35%) were granted temporary admission or release and 93 (1%) were bailed. Of the 214 detained for 12 months or more, 69 (32%) were bailed, 86 (40%) were removed and 54 (25%) were granted temporary admission or release.

12.4 Children in detention

In the first quarter of 2014, 19 children entered detention, compared with 37 in the first quarter of 2013 and 59 in the first quarter of 2012. Of those children entering detention in the first quarter of 2014, 11 were initially detained at Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC, 5 at Cedars PDA, 2 at Yarl’s Wood IRC and 1 at Dover IRC.

The number of children entering detention has fluctuated in recent quarters, following a period of consecutive increases from a low point of 19 at the start of 2011 up to 66 for the second quarter of 2012. Cedars PDA was opened during the third quarter of 2011 and has been specifically designed for families, providing, among other facilities, internal and external play areas for children. Subject to a risk assessment and suitable supervision arrangements, some family members may be allowed to undertake recreational activities outside the accommodation location. However, as with those held elsewhere, those entering PDA are detained under Immigration Act powers. Numbers of children entering detention remain well below a previous peak of 322 for the third quarter of 2009.

Of the 19 children leaving detention in the first quarter of 2014, 6 were removed from the UK and 13 were granted temporary admission or release. Of those leaving detention, 17 had been detained for less than three days and two for between four and seven days. The number of children removed from the UK on leaving detention has ranged from 2 out of 24 in the first quarter of 2011 to 24 out of 38 in the first quarter of 2013.

The latest detailed data tables show that 1 child was in detention as at 31 March 2014 and had been detained for between 12 and 18 months. The majority of this time was spent in prison. This was a case in which the age of the offender was disputed. The Home Office took all necessary steps to establish the true age of this individual, involving close working with the local authority who conducted an age assessment and concluded that the individual was an adult. The foreign national offender was, however, later issued with an emergency travel document from his home country which accepted him as a minor.

Children entering detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

The chart shows the number of children entering detention between the first quarter of 2010 and the latest quarter.  The data are available in Table dt 02 q.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Detention table dt 02 q.
(1) Oakington Reception Centre closed on 12 November 2010; Yarl’s Wood closed to families with children on 16 December 2010.
(2) Cedars PDA opened on 17 August 2011. From the third quarter of 2011, all child detainees in Tinsley House are shown in Tinsley House IRC. From January 2013 child detainees in Tinsley House IRC, as part of a family, are shown in Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC; the remainder are shown in Other IRC/STHF.
(3) Tinsley House IRC closed to new entrants from 18 January to 20 March 2013 due to an infectious illness.

12.5 Data tables

Further data on detention are available in Detention tables dt 01 to dt 13 q

13. Removals and voluntary departures

Valid: 22 May 2014 to 28 August 2014

13.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to numbers of people, including dependants, leaving the UK either voluntarily when they no longer had a right to stay in the UK or where the Home Office has sought to remove them. While individuals removed at a port of entry have not necessarily entered the country, their removal requires action by the UK Border Force and Home Office, such as being placed on a return flight, and is therefore detailed below. The numbers of people leaving the UK by the various types of departure (enforced removals; refused entry at port and subsequent departures; and voluntary departures) are given below. The figures for the latest period are provisional and rely upon data matching exercises that may result in upward revision in the next release.

13.2 Key facts

Enforced removals from the UK decreased by 12% to 12,621 in the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous 12 months (14,283). This represents the lowest figure since the series began in 2004.

The number of passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed has increased by 3% in the year ending March 2014, to 14,265 from 13,833 for the previous 12 months; however the long-term trends show levels decreasing since 2004.

In the year ending March 2014, there was an increase of 25% in total voluntary departures, to 37,227, compared with the previous year (29,883). This category has represented the largest proportion of those departing from the UK since the end of 2009. The retrospective nature of data-matching exercises that are undertaken in counting for some voluntary departures means that the figures for the latest periods are particularly subject to upward revision (see the section ‘About the figures’).

Removals and voluntary departures by type

Year Total enforced removals Total refused entry at port and subsequently departed Total voluntary departures (1) Assisted Voluntary Returns (2) Notified voluntary departures (3) Other confirmed voluntary departures (1)(4) Other confirmed voluntary departures as a % of voluntary departures
Year ending March 2009 16,760 31,717 18,730 4,547 3,818 10,365 55%
Year ending March 2010 15,192 26,378 25,281 5,129 4,967 15,185 60%
Year ending March 2011 14,967 17,196 26,840 4,009 6,364 16,467 61%
Year ending March 2012 14,855 14,999 27,164 3,219 7,593 16,352 60%
Year ending March 2013 14,283 13,833 29,883 3,751 6,449 19,683 66%
Year ending March 2014 12,621 14,265 37,227 4,252 9,358 23,617 63%
Change: latest year -1,662 +432 +7,344 +501 +2,909 +3,934 -
Percentage change -12% +3% +25% +13% +45% +20% -

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Removals vol.1 table rv 01 q.
(1) The figures for total voluntary departures and confirmed voluntary departures will initially be undercounts due to data-matching exercises that take place after the statistics are produced.
(2) Assisted Voluntary Return – where financial assistance is provided.
(3) Notified voluntary departure – where a person notifies the Home Office that they have departed.
(4) Other confirmed voluntary departure – where a person has been identified as leaving when they no longer had the right to remain in the UK, either as a result of embarkation controls or by subsequent data matching on Home Office systems.

Of the total voluntary departures in the year ending March 2014, 63% of those departing were categorised as other confirmed voluntary departures, 25% as notified voluntary departures and 12% as Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVRs). The largest category, other confirmed voluntary departures, are cases where a person has been identified as leaving when they no longer had the right to remain in the UK, either as a result of embarkation controls or by subsequent data matching on Home Office systems. This category has been the largest within total voluntary departures since 2007 when it surpassed AVRs. Other confirmed voluntary departures increased from 6,883 in 2007 to 24,994 in 2013.

The chart shows the total number of enforced removals, total voluntary departures and total non-asylum cases refused entry at port and subsequently removed between the first quarter of 2004 and the latest quarter. The data are available in Table rv 01 q.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Removals vol.1 table rv 01 q.

The number of people refused entry at port and subsequently departed has decreased since the beginning of the data series in 2004. The 42% decrease from the third quarter of 2009 (7,751) to the second quarter of 2010 (4,520) has no identified single cause, although 26% of the decrease was due to a fall in the number of nationals of Afghanistan being refused entry and subsequently removed (-855). The overall falls are likely to be due to a combination of factors, including tighter screening of passengers prior to travel and changes in visa processes and regimes; for example, South African nationals have been required to have a visa for any length or type of visit to the UK since July 2009. The figure for the first quarter of 2014 has decreased by 23% compared with the fourth quarter of 2013 and 6% compared with the first quarter of 2013. However, due to the retrospective nature of the data-matching exercise, these figures are subject to upward revision.

The long-term trend in voluntary departures increased steadily to the first quarter of 2010, but quarterly figures since 2010 have shown signs of a more gradual upward trend despite some fluctuations. The long-term increase coincides with the Home Office improving its contact management with migrants and its ability to track those that are leaving the UK. The figures include individuals who have been identified by administrative exercises as those who have overstayed their leave, and then subsequently left the UK without informing the Home Office. This identification process allows the Home Office to focus its resources on those who remain in the UK. As mentioned above, the figures for the most recent quarters will be subject to upward revision as matching checks are made on travellers after departure.

The number of enforced removals has steadily declined over time, although this has been more gradual in recent years. The latest annual figure (2013; 13,051) represents the lowest level since the series began in 2004.

13.3 Asylum and non-asylum enforced removals

In the year ending March 2014 there were 4,416 enforced removals of people who had sought asylum at some stage, down 12% from the previous year (5,011). This figure is 62% lower than the peak in 2004 (11,743) when this data series began. This long-term decrease in the enforced removal of those seeking asylum can be viewed in the context of a generally decreasing trend in asylum applications since 2002; although the asylum applications have increased in recent years, they still remain low compared to the peak in 2002.

In the year ending March 2014, 65% of total enforced removals were non-asylum cases (8,205), down 12% from the previous year (9,272) and down 19% from the peak of 10,070 in 2008.

13.4 Removals and voluntary departures by nationality

The highest number of enforced removals in the year ending March 2014 were for nationals of Pakistan (1,794; 14% of the total). The second highest were for nationals of India (1,255; 10% of the total), who have also shown the largest decrease compared with the previous year (-821 or -40%).

The highest number of passengers refused entry at port and subsequently departed involved nationals of the United States (2,047; 14% of the total) who have also shown the largest increase compared with the previous year (+215 or +12%). The second and third highest involved nationals of Albania (940; 7% of the total) and Brazil (843; 6% of the total). Nationals of the United States and Brazil who are not coming to the UK for work or for six months or more do not need to apply for, and be issued with, a visa prior to arrival. The first time that they can be refused entry will therefore be on arrival in the UK.

The highest number of voluntary departures in the year ending March 2014 involved nationals of India (8,017; 22% of the total). The second highest involved nationals of Pakistan with 4,426 voluntary departures.

13.5 Departures by ‘harm’ assessment

The harm matrix was introduced in 2007 for monitoring the Public Service Agreement that then was applied to measure performance in removing the most harmful people first. However interest in this topic remains despite PSAs being abolished under the current administration, ‘Higher harm’ assessments include people who have committed serious criminal and immigration offences.

In the year ending March 2014, 12,621 enforced removals and 37,227 voluntary departures were subject to an assessment for a harm rating, of which 17% and 1% respectively were assessed as ‘higher harm’. This is similar to the previous year, when 18% of enforced removals and 1% of total voluntary departures were assessed as ‘higher harm’.

13.6 Foreign national offenders

The Home Office removes foreign national offenders either by using enforcement powers or via deportation. Numbers of foreign national offenders removed from the UK are included within the total number of enforced removals.

In the year ending March 2014, provisional data show that 4,573 foreign national offenders (FNOs) were removed, down 2% from the previous year (4,684).

Data tables

Further data on removals and voluntary departures are available in:

14. European Economic Area (EEA)

Valid: 22 May to 28 August 2014

14.1 Introduction

The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of countries within the European Union, together with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Nationals of the EEA and Switzerland have rights of free movement within the UK and are generally not subject to immigration control (though nationals of Bulgaria and Romania had employment restrictions placed on them until 31 December 2013; transitional restrictions on the employment of nationals of Croatia remain in place). Hence there is less information available about EEA nationals from the Home Office’s immigration control administrative systems. This section brings together the information that is available relating to EEA nationals. Data relating to employment of EU2 (Bulgarian and Romanian) nationals under transitional arrangements have been slightly updated to reflect work on the small number of outstanding applications following the lifting of restrictions on 1 January 2014.

14.2 Key facts

In the year ending March 2014, a large proportion (88%) of the 111.9 million journeys to the UK were by British, other EEA or Swiss nationals who have rights of free movement and are not subject to immigration control.

In 2013, more British nationals emigrated from the UK (134,000) than immigrated to the UK (76,000) i.e. a net migration of -57,000. By contrast, fewer other EU nationals emigrated from the UK (78,000) than immigrated to the UK (201,000), i.e. net migration of +124,000.

In the 9 months since the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013, 416 applications were received from Croatians for either authorisation to work or for a registration certificate confirming that the applicant is exercising a right to reside in the UK.

For EU2 nationals (Bulgaria and Romania), there were 1,905 applications for accession worker cards in 2013 and 17,176 applications for registration certificates, down 22% and 39% respectively compared with 2012. There were corresponding falls in approvals to 1,526 (-15%) and 13,065 (-42%). Applications for accession worker cards and registration certificates have followed a downward trend since 2011.

For EU2 nationals, approvals under the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) continued to fall, by 31% to 335 in 2013. Issuance of work cards under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) fell by 6% to 19,630.

The SAWS and SBS closed at the end of 2013, when restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals ended. These arrangements have not been open to Croatian nationals.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals were also able to work in the UK on a self-employed basis, without being required to apply for documentation to confirm this right. From accession on 1 July 2013 this has also been the case for Croatian nationals. Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey indicate an increase between 2009 and 2013 in the estimated numbers of Bulgarians (from 22,000 to 42,000) and of Romanians (from 35,000 to 85,000) living in households and working in the UK. These estimates are based on sample data and as with any survey estimates they are subject to a great deal of sampling variability. The EU2 estimates, being based on small numbers of respondents, are more variable than those for larger nationality groupings.

In 2013, there were 102,006 decisions on applications for residence documents (for EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals who were related to EEA nationals), up 22%. Of these decisions there were 20% more providing an initial recognition of right to reside (38,736, up 6,521) and 48% more giving recognition of permanent residence (22,463, up 7,266).

14.3 Admissions of EEA nationals

Passenger arrivals including estimates of EEA admissions

The chart shows numbers of passengers arriving between 2003 and the latest calendar year available, from Home Office admissions data, available in Table ad 01.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics January–March 2014, Admissions table ad 01.

Estimates from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) provide EU nationals’ reasons for entry to the UK. The large majority are either visitors for less than 12 months or individuals returning to the UK (Source: ONS, Travel Trends 2012).

The number of British passenger arrivals rose from 68.2 million in 2004 to 71.9 million in 2007 and then fell to 60.9 million in 2010. It has since risen again to 65.5 million in 2013, the latest period for which an estimate is available.

Between 2001 and 2003, the number of Other EEA and Swiss passenger arrivals was relatively stable, being between 14 and 15 million; however, there was an increase in 2004 to 17 million, which coincided with 10 countries joining the EU/EEA.

The number of Other EEA and Swiss passenger arrivals rose to 30.6 million in 2012 and to 31.8 million in 2013 (the latest period for which an estimate is available). From 2007, arrivals will have been boosted by nationals of Bulgaria and Romania, following these countries becoming part of the EEA, and similarly from 1 July 2013 by nationals of Croatia.

14.4 Migration of EU nationals

Provisional Long-Term International Migration estimates define immigrants as individuals who are resident for at least a year in the UK (or abroad for emigrants). In 2013, Long-Term International Migration estimates of those migrating for at least 12 months indicate that fewer British nationals immigrated to the UK than emigrated from the UK; 76,000 nationals immigrating and 134,000 emigrating, i.e. a net migration of -57,000, compared to -63,000 in 2012. This compares with an estimated 201,000 other EU nationals immigrating and 78,000 emigrating in the 2013, i.e. a net migration of +124,000, a statistically significant increase from the previous 12 months (+82,000).

Estimates from the IPS show that in 2013, 46% of British and 67% of other EU national immigrants came for work-related reasons. By contrast, only 20% of non-EU immigrants came for work, while 56% came for study.

Source: ONS, Provisional Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates

The ONS has published on its web-site a short report which includes a guide to the availability of statistics on Bulgarian and Romanian migration to the UK

14.5 Croatia

In the 9 months since accession on 1 July 2013, 416 applications were received from Croatians either for authorisation to work (i.e. for an accession worker registration certificate) or for a registration certificate confirming that the applicant is exercising a right to reside on a basis other than authorised employment. Of these, 153 were for accession worker registration certificates and 263 were for other registration certificates. As at 10 April 2014, 124 of the accession worker registration certificate applications and 209 other registration certificates had been approved.

14.6 ‘EU2’ countries – Bulgaria and Romania

Applications for accession worker cards, required until 31 December 2013 by Bulgarians and Romanians to work in the UK as an employee, and for registration certificates that provide proof of residency rights, fell in 2013, with falls of 22% to 1,905 and 39% to 17,176, respectively. The corresponding data on approvals show falls of 15% to 1,526 and 42% to 13,065. Applications for accession worker cards and registration certificates have followed a downward trend since 2011.

EEA tables ee 01 and ee 01 q show a complete breakdown of decisions by type in applications for EU2 accession worker cards and registration certificates between 2007 and 2013 along with cases outstanding as at 10 April 2014.

Approvals under the SBS fell from a peak of 1,569 in 2008, to 335 in 2013. The Migration Advisory Committee’s ‘Migrant Seasonal Workers’ report suggests that the fall in SBS approvals may partly reflect a reduction in employee turnover along with falls in the number of employers participating in the scheme (see user guide).

SAWS approvals rose from 8,058 in 2007 to 16,461 in 2008 and averaged around 20,000 from 2009 to 2011. There was a slight rise to 20,821 in 2012 but they fell back in 2013 to 19,630. SAWS quotas for 2007 and 2008 were 16,250 and from 2009 to 2013 were 21,250. Approvals may not match the quota figure due to lags in recording and the inclusion of replacement cards.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals were also able to work in the UK on a self-employed basis, without being required to apply for documentation to confirm this right. Separate figures from the ONS Labour Force Survey (including both employed and self-employed) indicate an increase between 2009 and 2013 in the numbers of Bulgarians (from 22,000 to 42,000) and Romanians (from 35,000 to 85,000) living and working in the UK. These estimates are based on sample data and as with any survey estimates they are subject to a great deal of sampling variability. The EU2 estimates, being based on small numbers of respondents, are more variable than those for larger nationality groupings (Source: Table 4.3, International Migration and the United Kingdom, Report of the United Kingdom SOPEMI correspondent to the OECD, 2013.

14.7 Residence document decisions

Under European law, EEA nationals do not need to obtain documentation confirming their right of residence in the UK. However, if they want to support an application for a residence card by any of their family members who are not EEA nationals, they must demonstrate that they are residing in the UK in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 and are “exercising Treaty rights” in the UK. The Home Office website provides details of documentation for EEA nationals, ‘Residence documents for European nationals’. There were 102,006 decisions on applications for EEA residence documents in 2013, 22% (18,362) more than in 2012.

Decisions recognising permanent residence have shown a generally rising trend between 2007 (7,623) and 2013 (22,463). This may reflect the numbers previously issued initial right to reside documents and living in the UK under European regulations for 5 years becoming eligible to apply for documents certifying permanent residence. Since 2010 Poland has been the top nationality issued documents recognising permanent residence (4,212 in 2013), with Romanian and Bulgarian nationals rising to second and third in 2012 and 2013 (2,824 to Romanians and 2,402 to Bulgarians in 2013).

Decisions to issue initial right to reside documents rose in 2013 (by 20% to 38,736), but have shown a generally falling trend since 2007. Polish nationals were issued the most initial right to reside documents in each year between 2006 and 2011, but in 2012 and 2013 nationals of Portugal received the highest number (3,289 and 4,196 respectively).

The number of applications found to be invalid on receipt by the Home Office in 2013 compared to 2012 fell to 4,099 for initial right to reside (from 14,438) and to 2,390 for documents certifying permanent residence (from 9,568). This category of decision was introduced in 2011 for applications that didn’t provide key information or documentation but, due to changes in late 2012 to the administration of EEA residence document applications, fewer applications were rejected as invalid in 2013. Applications are either issued or refused instead. Applications refused or found to be invalid may result in an immediate re-application, resulting in a further decision being counted in Table ee 02. The majority of applications recorded as invalid on receipt in 2013 were because the applicant had not included the fee required after 1 July 2013.

14.8 Data tables

Further data on EEA nationals are available in the following tables:

15. About this Release

The Immigration Statistics quarterly release gives an overview of work on immigration within the Home Office, including the work of UK Border Force and UK Visas and Immigration. It helps inform users including the Government, Parliament, the media and the wider public, and supports the development and monitoring of policy.

The release includes the following topic briefings: (cross-cutting) Work, Study, Family, (single topic) Before Entry, Admissions, Extensions, Settlement, Citizenship, Asylum, Removals and Voluntary Departures, Detention and the European Economic Area. Detailed tables of figures accompany each of the single topic briefings, providing data up to the first quarter of 2014 (January to March).

The ‘Immigration Statistics’ release is a National Statistics output produced to the highest professional standards and free from political interference. It has been produced by statisticians working in the Home Office Statistics Unit in accordance with the Home Office’s ‘Statement of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics’ which covers our policy on revisions and other matters. The governance arrangements in the Home Office for statistics were strengthened on 1 April 2008 to place the statistical teams under the direct line management of a Chief Statistician, who reports to the National Statistician with respect to all professional statistical matters.

15.1 National Statistics

The UK Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

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

The assessment report (No. 177) and letter of confirmation as National Statistics can be viewed on the UK Statistics Authority (Assessment reports).

15.2 Changes to topic briefings and tables

There have been a range of improvements to the following topic briefings and tables in this release:

  • Grants of extensions by previous status: An update to the article Extensions of stay by previous category published on 29 August 2013 has been provided within the Extensions topic. Updates of the more detailed tables provided in the article are included in the Extensions tables.
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children: As announced in ‘Immigration Statistics January–March 2013’, an internal review of the UASC and age dispute data highlighted issues with the definitions used for previously published data. Previously published UASC figures from 2006 to 2011 have now been revised in this release.
  • Asylum support: A map showing asylum seekers in receipt of Section 95 support by local authority has been introduced to the asylum topic. This displays data from Table as 16 q in graphical format, showing the local authorities that are supporting the majority of asylum seekers receiving support.
  • Families with children in detention: As announced in ‘Immigration Statistics October–December 2013’, Table dt 14 q, which included data on numbers of families with children in detention, has been discontinued. This was not a count of individuals and so was of limited value. Data on children in detention will continue to be published on a monthly and quarterly basis.

A short article on entry clearance visas by length was also published on 22 May. This article presents data about the length of visas issued, and trends over time for short-term visas (less than 1 year) and long-term visas (1 year or over).

15.3 Revisions to data

Within the Removals and Voluntary Departures section there have been revisions relating to the category ‘other confirmed voluntary departures’. Retrospective checks mean that figures for voluntary departures are subject to upward revision. This is particularly so for confirmed voluntary departures that are generated as a result of detailed retrospective checking, but some more limited revision is needed for notified voluntary departures to allow time for recording notifications from those who have departed. In light of this, other confirmed voluntary departures for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2013 have been revised upwards, from 14,830 to 19,594 (+32%), and notified voluntary departures from 6,619 to 6,884 (+4%) in this quarterly release.

15.4 Future changes

The following changes are planned, subject to data quality and available resources:

EEA topic: Migration Statistics anticipate that the EEA section of this release will be discontinued later in 2014, following the end of transitional controls for the EU2 nationals (Bulgaria and Romania) at the end of 2013. Information on other aspects of EEA migration, such as passenger arrivals and data regarding Croatian transitional arrangements will continue to be collected and published in other sections.

The Office for National Statistics have set out at Bulgarian and Romanian migration to the UK in 2014 the timetable for release of information on EU2 migration following the lifting of transitional controls on 1 January 2014.

Detention topic: Migration Statistics plan to publish data on people held in prison solely under Immigration Act powers during 2014 but a release date has not yet been finalised.

Migration Transparency Data webpage: A range of key input and impact indicators are currently published by the Home Office on the Migration Transparency Data webpage. We are considering ways in which we could more closely integrate the publication of the National Statistics and Official Statistics on immigration with the transparency data. This would be with a view to providing enhanced coherence, comparability, explanation and accessibility to the full range of data to users of migration statistics. We will keep stakeholders informed of developments and where appropriate we will seek views through user consultation.

If you have any comments on these plans please contact us via the Migration Statistics Enquiries inbox.

15.5 Migration Statistics User Forum

The Forum has been established for discussion of migration statistics, allowing users to discuss their need for and use of the data and for producers to consult on presentation and changes. The main focus is on figures for the UK, but this would not exclude discussion of migration statistics for other countries. Home Office Statistics intends to use this list for communication with users, including data and release developments. The Forum is a user-led group, with close to 200 members, that is now affiliated to the Royal Statistical Society.

The list also provides access to contact details for the Home Office’s Migration Statistics team via downloading from the MIGRATION-STATS File Area.

The distribution list is available to join through the MIGRATION-STATS JISCmail list.

Copies of the presentations made at the last annual conference of the Forum, held on 17 September 2013, including discussion of the then position on e-borders data, are available via the MIGRATION-STATS JISCmail website

The next annual conference of the Migration Statistics User Forum is planned for 16 September 2014. Details of the planned agenda and how to register will be made available closer to the date via the JISCmail list and on the Royal Statistical Society event website.

15.6 Public Administration Select Committee inquiry

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has examined the topic of migration statistics, as part of a programme of work on statistics and their use in government, and has published a report, PASC migration statistics. The government’s response to this report is available from the same weblink.

15.7 Home Office statistical work programme

The Home Office has published its Statistical Work Programme 2014/15 which outlines the most significant outputs, highlights some recent developments and outlines future plans. Pages 3 to 4 of the Work Programme cover our statistics on immigration. Pages 11 to 12 of the Work Programme provide details of how you can provide feedback on the work programme and outputs.

15.8 Further information and feedback

If you have any questions or comments about this release, please send an email to: MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Or write to:

The Editor, Immigration Statistics
Migration Statistics
Home Office Statistics
17th Floor Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon
CR9 2BY

Press enquiries should be made to:

Home Office Press Office
Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
Tel: 020 7035 3535

The Home Office Responsible Statistician is David Blunt, Chief Statistician and Head of Profession for Statistics. The Home Office Statistics mission statement is:

We produce timely, accurate and objective statistics on immigration, crime and policing to support effective delivery of Home Office objectives and to inform Government, Parliament and the public.

16. About the figures

This section, About the figures, provides extra information designed to assist in the interpretation of this release.

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics additionally provides more detailed information including definitions used, other sources of information, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures based on data sourced from an administrative database. The user guide is structured in the same way as About the figures.

For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

16.1 Work, Study and Family

There are a range of measures that can be used to monitor those who are subject to immigration control and are coming to the UK for work, study or family reasons. These include:

  • issues of visas for entry clearance, providing information on those intending to come;
  • admissions data, providing information on migrants at the border;
  • estimates on non-EU immigration from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) on migrants intending to stay for at least a year;
  • extensions of stay for work, study and family purposes providing information on case work relating to migrants in-country;
  • settlement data, providing information on the number of people who are granted or refused permission to stay permanently (settlement) which is an indicator of longer term migration; and
  • data from the Migrant Journey Analysis on outcomes (5 years later) of those receiving work/study/family visas.

Trends in extensions and in permission to stay permanently will depend on admissions and immigration in previous years.

ONS figures on long-term immigration relate to non-EU nationals whilst other figures (visas, admissions, extensions, permission to stay permanently) relate to non-EEA nationals.

The various statistics and research presented can appear to give different pictures of immigration for work/study/family. Often this is because the latest data for different measures cover different time periods. In addition, they also count different aspects of the immigration process, with some showing intentions or permissions, while others show actual events. The Before Entry section of the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics includes a discussion on the differences between the various data sources presented on immigration.

ONS has conducted a review of the quality of Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates over the decade from 2001 to 2011 which predominantly are based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The review follows research conducted in light of the results of the 2011 Census for England and Wales, which found that the Census-based mid-year population estimate was 464,000 higher than the mid-year population estimates rolled forward from the 2001 Census base. Several possible causes for the difference were cited but it was considered that the ‘largest single cause is most likely to be underestimation of long-term immigration from central and eastern Europe in the middle part of the decade’ - ONS, 2012. The review extends this work to compare LTIM estimates to further data from the 2011 Census, as well as a range of other data sources across the decade from 2001 to 2011. IPS figures are compared with visa figures in the topic briefs for work, study and family. However, the IPS estimates used solely relate to non-EU nationals as visas are not required for EU nationals (or other EEA nationals) visiting the UK.

Data include dependants unless stated otherwise.

IPS data for 2013 are final. The adjustments used for 2013 LTIM figures will be finalised in November. All other data for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

Figures for admissions and immigration are estimates rounded to the nearest thousand. For the family topic, figures for non-EU immigration estimated by the IPS are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Figures for immigration in the study and family topics relate to non-EU nationals whilst other figures (visas, admissions, extensions) relate to non-EEA nationals.

Work: Recent falls for work-related visas, admissions and immigration are likely to be partly due to policy changes that came into effect from 2011. The Post-Study work route was closed to new applications on 6 April 2012 but existing applications continue to be processed after this date. From December 2010, Tier 1 General was closed to applicants who are outside the UK and it was closed to migrants who were already in the UK, in most immigration categories, from April 2011. Details of these policy changes, together with information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics, can be found in the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

Study: Data for visas and admissions exclude student visitors unless stated otherwise. The student visitor category provides for persons who wish to come to the UK as a visitor and undertake a short period of study. Visa data on student visitors include those who applied on the ‘short-term student’ endorsement prior to the introduction of the ‘student visitor’ endorsement in September 2007. For admissions short-term students may have been classified as visitors prior to September 2007; for consistency and comparability over time they are excluded from study-related totals.

Family: The numbers of applications and decisions made reflect changes in levels of immigration over time, as well as policy and legislative changes, including changes to immigration legislation. The availability and allocation of resources within UK Visas and Immigration can also affect the number of decisions on applications. In July 2012, changes were made to the family Immigration Rules which apply to applications made on or after 9 July 2012. It is not possible to separately identify applications made under the previous and new rules. Spouse, partner and child applications which fall for refusal solely because they do not meet the new minimum income threshold have been subject to a hold on decision making following a High Court judgment in July 2013.

16.2 Before Entry

Before travelling to the UK, a person may be required to apply for and be issued with an entry clearance visa, depending on their nationality, purpose of visit and intended length of stay. On arrival at UK ports, or UK border controls in France and Belgium (often termed ‘juxtaposed’ controls), all individuals have to satisfy a Border Force officer that they have the right to enter the country before being admitted to the UK.

The data in this section include dependants and exclude those visiting the UK or in transit, unless stated otherwise.

Data for visas prior to 2005 are not comparable. All figures for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

The refusal of entry to passengers relates to non-asylum cases dealt with at ports of entry.

16.3 Admissions

All people admitted are subject to immigration control except British, other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals.

Most data in this briefing are rounded to three significant figures. All data include dependants.

For arriving passengers subject to immigration control, who have previously obtained leave to enter, the journey is recorded as ‘returning after a temporary absence abroad’ within the ‘other’ category. Due to the volume of passengers arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick some data are estimated from monthly samples.

Some major components of the total (visitors, passengers returning and passengers in transit) reflect, to a large extent, trends in international tourism. The number of other admissions (for example, for work, study or family reasons) are likely to reflect trends in international migration and related policy and legislative changes affecting those subject to immigration control, for example changes in immigration legislation, enlargement of the European Union, and the introduction of the points-based system for work and study in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Total passenger arrival data are available up to the year ending September 2013 (Table ad 01 q); data on the purpose of journey (e.g. visit, work, study; Table ad 02 q); and data for individual nationalities are available up to the end of 2012 (Table ad 03).

Further briefing on those arriving who are not subject to immigration control is available in the ‘EEA’ section.

Further information on visitors to the UK is published by the Office for National Statistics in ‘Overseas Travel and Tourism – September 2013’.

16.4 Asylum

This briefing excludes numbers of dependants, unless stated otherwise. One person (the main applicant) can apply for asylum on behalf of themselves and others (dependants).

All data, except data on asylum support, for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

16.5 Extensions of stay

EEA nationals are not subject to immigration control so are not included in these figures. When a country joins the EU its nationals are no longer included in these figures e.g. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are not included from 2007 onwards.

The data in this briefing include dependants, except where stated otherwise, and take account of the outcomes of reconsiderations and appeals. All figures for 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

The numbers of applications and decisions made reflect changes over time in levels of immigration, as well as policy and legislative changes, including changes to immigration legislation. The availability and allocation of resources within Home Office can also affect the number of decisions.

Data on migration applications decided within published standards, the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications are published as Official Statistics by the Home Office as part of their performance data. Details are given on the GOV.UK website.

A short statistical article on ‘Extensions of stay by previous category’ has also been published alongside the Immigration Statistics April–June 2013 release to provide further detailed information.

16.6 Settlement

EEA nationals are not subject to immigration control and so are not included in these figures. When a country joins the EU its nationals are no longer included in these figures e.g. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are not included from 2007 onwards.

The numbers of applications and decisions about permission to permanently stay reflect changes over time in levels of those entering the country, as well as policy and legislative changes. These may affect the number of people potentially eligible to permanently stay. The availability and allocation of resources within the Home Office can also affect the number of decisions.

All the figures include spouses and dependants, unless stated otherwise. All data for 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

From 2003 onwards, dependants of EEA and Swiss nationals in confirmed relationships may be shown separately in figures on issues and refusals of permanent residence documents, rather than in figures about settlement. Figures on issues and refusals of permanent residence documentation to EEA nationals and their family members are shown in Table ee 02 in the European Economic Area topic.

Data on migration applications decided within published standards, the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications are published as Official Statistics by the Home Office as part of their immigration performance data. Details are given on the Our Performance webpage.

Migrant journey analysis is able to look at those who apply for settlement or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and which visas they used to arrive at that point. This analysis shows that the proportion of settlement grants made to people who initially arrived on a temporary visa rose between 2009 and 2012. For example, those originally entering the UK on a student visa comprised 11% of settlement grants in 2009 and 16% in 2012. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Fourth Report.

16.7 Citizenship

There are no separate figures for dependants because all applications for citizenship are from individuals treated as applicants in their own right (including those made on the basis of a relationship with an existing British citizen). The data also reflect the outcome of reconsidered decisions. All figures for 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

Citizenship is granted under the British Nationality Act 1981 which came into force on 1 January 1983, subsequently amended by the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

The number of applications and decisions made reflect changes over time in levels of those entering the country, as well as policy and legislative changes, which for example may affect the number of people potentially eligible to apply. The availability and allocation of resources within the Home Office can also affect the number of decisions.

16.8 Detention

Children are those recorded as being under 18 years of age. All data for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are provisional.

16.9 Removals and voluntary departures

Numbers of enforced removals include people deported. Deportations are a subset of departures which are enforced either following a criminal conviction or when it is judged that a person’s removal from the UK is in the public’s interest; a person who has received a deportation order is not allowed to return to the UK, unless the order is cancelled. Most illegal immigrants are removed from the UK under administrative or illegal entry powers and not deported. Published information on those deported from the UK is not separately available.

The other confirmed voluntary departures and notified voluntary departures for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2013 have been revised upwards from 14,830 to 19,594 (32% increase) and from 6,619 to 6,884 (4% increase) respectively in this quarterly release.

All data include dependants, unless otherwise stated, and are provisional for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

16.10 European Economic Area

The Home Office has previously indicated that restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians would end on 31 December 2013.

Following the accession of Croatia to the EU on 1 July 2013 similar transitional restrictions to those that previously related to Bulgarians and Romanians were placed on Croatians working in the UK. A link to more information on these restrictions can be found in the user guide.

Figures for admissions and immigration in this briefing are estimates rounded to the nearest thousand. Relevant tables provide unrounded data (except for admissions data and IPS estimates).

All data for 2013 and 2014 are provisional (2013 IPS data are final).

EEA nationals do not require an entry clearance visa. Slightly fewer than 590 visas were recorded as issued to EEA nationals in 2013, with 507 of these recorded as nationals of Cyprus, but most likely these people are from the area not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus. The ‘Before Entry’ data tables and section of the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provide more information.

Passenger arrivals figures for 2001 to 2003, referred to in the chart above, can be found in Table 1.2 of ‘Control of Immigration Statistics UK 2009’.

There continued to be small numbers of EEA nationals (including dependants) seeking asylum, a total of 258 in the year ending March 2014. More than half of these applicants were of Polish nationality (163). In the year ending March 2014, a number of EEA nationals (2,344 enforced removals, 1,000 refused entry at port and subsequently departed and 316 voluntary departures) were removed or departed voluntarily. European legislation generally sets higher thresholds for deporting EEA nationals than exist for other foreign nationals.