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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-january-to-march-2016/about-this-release
Valid: 26 May 2016 to 24 August 2016
The Immigration Statistics quarterly release gives an overview of work on immigration control, entry clearance, asylum and enforcement 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 section briefings: (cross-cutting) Work, Study, Family, (single section) Visas, Admissions, Extensions, Settlement, Citizenship, Asylum, Returns and Detention. Detailed tables of figures accompany each of the single section briefings, providing data up to the first quarter of 2016 (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 Migration and Borders Analysis Unit within the Home Office Science 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 Chief Statistician, as Head of Profession, reports to the National Statistician with respect to all professional statistical matters and oversees all Home Office National Statistics products with respect to the Code, being responsible for their timing, content and methodology.
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
- 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 ‘Statistics on Immigration’ (No. 177) and letter of confirmation as National Statistics can be viewed on the UK Statistics Authority website.
2. Changes to topic briefings and tables
The information published in the quarterly Immigration Statistics is kept under review, taking into account the needs of users, burdens on suppliers and producers, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Feedback on the changes detailed below, and proposals for future changes, are welcome. If you have any comments, suggestions or enquiries, please contact the team via email using: MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
There have been a range of improvements to the following topic briefings and tables in this release:
2.1 Changes to asylum tables
Volume 4 of the Asylum tables includes a new table (as_20_q) this quarter, which provides a local authority breakdown for the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme figures. This breakdown is available from Q4 2015 onwards when resettlement scheme data, including local authority information, began to be recorded on the Home Office’s Case Information Database (CID). Prior to this, resettlement scheme data were recorded in a separate database maintained by the Home Office specifically for this purpose, and local authority information was not captured.
2.2 Changes to returns
As a result of feedback from users of the Returns statistics, Home Office statisticians have revised the existing terminology and category groupings, to better reflect categories used operationally, as presented in the Summary table.
The aim of these changes is to produce a set of categories and naming that accurately represent the types of returns taking place in practice. As a result, a number of categories have been renamed:
- other verified returns (previously Other confirmed voluntary departures) relate to persons who it has been established have left or have been identified leaving the UK without formally informing the immigration authorities of their departure; these persons can be identified either at embarkation controls or by a variety of data-matching initiatives
- since January 2016, the support formerly described as an Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) has been replaced with support provided by the Home Office’s Voluntary Returns Service (VRS); these are referred to in the tables as ‘Assisted returns’; the term ‘Assisted returns’ relates to support provided under AVR up to Q4 2015 and support under VRS from Q1 2016
Also from May 2016, separate categories have been added to Returns table rv_sum:
- enforced removals from detention include all those who were subject to enforced removal either from detention or up to 2 days after leaving detention; there may be delays with flight arrangements or recording on the case-working system and a 2 day lag period allows us to ensure we have included all returns occurring following a period in detention
- non-detained enforced removals include all enforced removals taking place more than 2 days after leaving detention, or where there was no period of detention prior to the enforced removal
- other returns from detention relate to those returns occurring either from detention or up to 2 days after leaving detention AND where it had been established that a person has breached UK immigration laws and / or have no valid leave to remain in the UK: removal directions may or may not have been set but the person has notified the Home Office that they wish to make their own arrangements to leave the country and has provided evidence to this effect; the Home Office will have been required to facilitate or monitor the return
- controlled returns relate to those returns occurring more than 2 days after leaving detention or where there was no period of detention prior to the return AND where it had been established that a person has breached UK immigration laws and / or has no valid leave to remain in the UK: removal directions may or may not have been set but the person has notified the Home Office that they wish to make their own arrangements to leave the country and has provided evidence to this effect; the Home Office will have been required to facilitate or monitor the return
- enforced returns covers enforced removals from detention, non-detained enforced removals and other returns from detention where the Home Office will have been required to facilitate or monitor the return; this new grouping has been created to reflect the likely level of enforcement activity that led to these returns
In addition, the term ‘return’ has been used extensively in place of removal or departure, where possible, in order to simplify the language used and bring the terminology in line with operational use and international definitions.
Users with any comments, suggestions or questions are encouraged to provide feedback, specifically on the new returns definitions by the end of June 2016, to the statistics team at: MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.uk.
As a result of the continuing review of the Immigration Statistics release, and the limited user interest, Table rv 04 q, Removals and voluntary departures by country of nationality, age and sex, will no longer be updated quarterly. Annual figures will continue to be published in Table rv_04 of the Returns data tables.
2.3 Changes to detention
Given the limited user interest, it is proposed that the following Detention tables will no longer be published quarterly:
dt 03 Number of occurrences in detention in each year and since January 2009
dt 03 q Number of occurrences in detention in each year and since January 2009
dt 10 People leaving detention by cumulative length of detention
2.4 Revisions to data
Within the Returns section there have been revisions relating to the category ‘other verified returns’. Retrospective checks mean that figures for voluntary returns are subject to upward revision. This is particularly for other verified returns that are generated as a result of detailed retrospective data-matching, but some more limited revision is needed for notified returns to allow time for recording notifications from those who have departed. In light of this, other verified returns and notified returns for the third and fourth quarter of 2015 combined have been revised upwards from 4,993 to 6,596 (32% increase) and from 7,142 to 7,479 (5% increase) respectively in this quarterly release.
3. Future changes
The following changes are planned, subject to data quality and available resources:
3.1 Exit checks
The report on the development of exit data has been delayed to allow time for additional quality assurance of technical details to be included. This report is now planned to be published on 25 August 2016. The revised date is the next available to allow for the coherent quarterly release of migration statistics previously agreed with the Office for National Statistics.
3.2 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 and have now included web links in relevant topic briefs to this information. We will keep stakeholders informed of any further developments.
3.3 Changes to detention
As a result of the continuing review of the Immigration Statistics release, and the increased user interest in the topic, the twenty longest lengths of detention, as at the end of each quarter, will be published in the Detention tables of the Immigration Statistics release from August 2016.
4. Migration Statistics User Forum
The Migration Statistics User 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 Science 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 this link 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 15 September 2015, are available at Migration Statistics User Forum Conference 2015: (Click on the ‘View slides’ links underneath each session in the programme).
The next conference of the Migration Statistics User Forum is currently planned for 21 September 2016. If you would be interested in becoming a member of the organising committee for the next conference please email MSUF@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
5. Home Office statistical work programme
The Home Office has published its Statistical Work Programme 2014 to 2015 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.
6. Further information and feedback
We welcome feedback on Immigration Statistics. If you have any comments, suggestions, enquiries or need assistance in accessing the data, please email them to: MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
Or write to:
The Editor, Immigration Statistics
17th Floor Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Press enquiries should be made to:
Home Office Press Office
2 Marsham Street
Tel: 020 7035 3535
The Home Office Responsible Statistician is Chris Kershaw. The Home Office Migration Statistics mission statement is:
We produce timely, accurate and objective statistics on immigration to support effective delivery of Home Office objectives and to inform government, Parliament and the public.