This release presents the latest immigration statistics from Home Office administrative sources, covering the period up to the end of September 2013.

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

1. Summary points: July to September 2013

All data below relate to the year ending September 2013 and all comparisons are with the year ending September 2012, unless indicated otherwise.

1.1 Visas issued (Before Entry)

There was a 4% increase (to 526,736) in the number of visas issued (excluding visitors and transit visas).

There was a 15% increase in visitor visas issued (1.9 million), mostly accounted for by Chinese (+80,755 or +40%), Russian (+37,405 or +23%), Kuwaiti (+23,507 or +40%), Indian (+20,749 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+18,030 or +24%) nationals.

1.2 Work

There was a 5% rise for visas issued for work to 152,139. The increase was largely accounted for by higher numbers of visas issued for skilled workers (Tier 2, up 9,271, of which Intra-Company Transfers increased by 6,192) and for Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5, up 2,771), partly offset by fewer visas issued to high value workers (Tier 1, down 7,179, largely reflecting the closure of the Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study categories to new applicants).

1.3 Study

There were 3% more study visas issued (up to 216,895), mainly explained by larger numbers of Chinese (+8%) and Malaysians (+27%), although there were notable falls for Pakistanis (-60%) and Indians (-24%). University sponsored applications rose 7% (main applicants) while there were falls for other education sectors.

There was also a 15% increase in student visitor visas issued, to 76,672. Student visitors are normally only allowed to stay for up to 6 months (11 months for English Language schools) and cannot extend their stay.

1.4 Family

There was a fall of 20% for family-related visas issued (down to 33,747), while grants of permission to stay permanently increased by 26% (to 59,098). A rise of 138% in family-related extensions of stay (to 36,752) was in large part due to 14,150 extra extensions recorded under the new Family life (10 year) route that would previously have been recorded as discretionary leave.

1.5 EEA

For Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, approvals under the Sector Based Scheme fell by 10% (to 465) and approvals under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme fell by 5% (to 19,451). Figures for these schemes do not provide a full picture in that they exclude those who are self-employed.

In the first 3 months since the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013, 117 applications were received from Croatians for certificates as evidence of their right to work in the UK.

1.6 Asylum

There were 23,765 asylum applications, a rise of 14%, with increases in applications from a number of nationalities, including Syria, Albania, Eritrea, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This remains low relative to the peak of 84,132 in 2002. Correspondingly, the number of applications received since April 2006 pending a decision continued to rise; by 19% to 15,438 main applicants at the end of September 2013.

2. Other points to note

2.1 Admissions

There were 109.9 million journeys to the UK, a 3% increase.

2.2 Extensions

There were 4% more grants of extension, to 284,902, with increases in study (+7%) and family-related grants (+138%) partly offset by a fall in work-related grants (-9%). The increase in family-related grants (+21,293) included 14,150 grants in the new Family Life (10-year) category that would previously have been recorded as discretionary leave.

2.3 Citizenship

There was an 8% increase in people granted British citizenship (to 198,952). The increase in grants was largely accounted for by higher numbers of people granted citizenship on the basis of residence.

2.4 Settlement

There were 13% more people granted permission to stay permanently (settlement), rising to 152,185. The increase was accounted for by increases for family (+26%), asylum-related (+74%) and discretionary or other (+11%) grants, partly offset by a fall in work-related grants (-7%).

2.5 Detention

In the third quarter of 2013, 65 children entered detention, up from 52 in the third quarter of 2012. 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.

6% more people entered detention (to 30,387) and 6% more left detention (to 30,116). Of those leaving detention, 57% were removed from the UK. As at the end of September 2013, there were 3,115 people in detention, 1% higher than the number recorded at the end of September 2012.

2.6 Removals and Voluntary Departures

There was a 1% increase in total voluntary departures (to 30,184), and a 2% increase in the number of passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed (to 14,122). Enforced removals from the UK decreased by 10%, to 13,533.

Further, more detailed, analysis can be found below.

3. Data tables

Listing of the data tables included in ‘Immigration statistics, July to September 2013’.

4. Work

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

4.1 Introduction

The figures in this section relate to non-EEA nationals’ work-related visas issued, passenger arrivals, extensions granted, and permissions to stay permanently, as well as non-EU nationals long-term immigration to work (i.e. those intending to stay for at least 12 months for work).

4.2 Key facts

In the year ending September 2013, there were 5% more work-related visas issued (152,139), 9% fewer extensions (129,875) and 7% fewer permissions to stay permanently (60,653) compared with the previous year.

In the year ending June 2013, there were 12% fewer non-EU long term immigrants for work (42,000 estimated from the International Passenger Survey) and over the same period, work-related visas issued fell 2%. In 2012, there were 4% fewer work-related admissions (142,000).

The 5% increase in work-related visas issued in the year ending September 2013 was largely accounted for by increases for skilled workers (Tier 2, +9,271 or +14%, and, of these Intra-Company Transfers increased by 6,192), and for Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5, +2,771 or +7%). These increases were partially offset by fewer visas issued for high value workers (Tier 1) which fell by 7,179 (-37%), largely reflecting the closure of the Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study categories to new applicants.

The 9% decrease (-12,525) in work-related extensions in the year ending September 2013 included a fall in Tier 1 Post-Study extensions and increases for Tier 1 General and Tier 2 Skilled Workers, the latter reflecting shorter visas granted for such workers from 2008. Further information is given in the extensions topic.

In the year ending September 2013, there were 14% more Tier 2 skilled worker sponsored visa applications (main applicants) increasing to 46,132, of which the majority were in the Information and Communication (19,410), Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (8,267), and Financial and Insurance Activities (5,785) sectors.

  Latest 12 months(1) Previous 12 months(1) Change Change (%)
Work-related visas issued 152,139 145,558 +6,581 +5%
Of which        
High value (Tier 1) visas 12,316 19,495 -7,179 -37%
Skilled (Tier 2) visas 76,951 67,680 +9,271 +14%
Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5) visas 40,697 37,926 +2,771 +7%
Non-PBS/other 22,175 20,457 +1,718 +8%
         
Immigration for work(2) 42,000 48,000 -6,000 -12%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013 before entry table be 04q, International Passenger Survey, Migration, Office for National Statistics.

(1) Latest 12 months for visas issued data relates to the year ending September 2013, and for immigration for work data relates to the year ending June 2013.
(2) 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 increases in all three series between 2005 and 2006 followed by subsequent falls. 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 July to September 2013, before entry table be 04 q, admissions table ad 02 q, extensions table ex 01 q and settlement table se 02 q; Migration, Office for National Statistics.

Admissions data includes both those individuals who require a visa 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 July to September 2013, before entry table be 06 q w.

For 2012 data, the nationality breakdown for those granted extensions for work (see chart below) is in some respects different from the top 10 nationalities rankings for admissions and for visas. Nigerian, Bangladeshis, 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 for 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 July to September 2013, extensions table ex 02 w.

4.5 Permission to stay permanently (settlement)

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

There was a 7% (-4,650) fall in work-related grants to stay permanently to 60,653 in the year ending September 2013, which continued the fall from 88,585 in the year ending September 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 settlement 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, main applicants must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from an employer. The before entry tables 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 26,820 employers on the register on 30 September 2013, 6% higher than on 1 October 2012 (25,399).

Skilled individuals (Tier 2)
In the year ending September 2013, there were 14% more sponsored visa applications (main applicants) from skilled individuals than the previous 12 months (from 40,397 to 46,132). The majority of the 46,132 certificates used related to the following sectors:

Information and Communication (19,410, up 12%),
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (8,267, up 12%),
Financial and Insurance Activities (5,785, up 10%),
Education (2,670, up 46%),
Manufacturing (2,490, up 6%).

There were also falls for the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (566, down 8%) and Mining and Quarrying (863, down 5%) sectors.

In the same period there were 45% more sponsored extension applications (main applicants) from skilled individuals than in the previous 12 months (from 24,123 to 35,017). The majority of the certificates related to the following sectors:

Information and Communication (6,871, up 32%),
Human Health and Social Work Activities (6,565, up 53%),
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (4,844, up 38%),
Education (4,061, up 53%),
Financial and Insurance Activities (3,690, up 46%).

Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5)
In the year ending September 2013, there were 10% more sponsored visa applications (main applicants) from youth mobility and temporary workers than the previous 12 months (from 39,164 to 43,228). The large majority of these 43,228 certificates related to the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (30,690, up 7%) and Education (4,499, up 9%) sectors. There were a total of 503 sponsored applications for extensions for Tier 5, the relatively small numbers reflecting the rules relating to extensions for such workers.

4.7 Staying in the UK

The Migrant Journey Third Report reported that 40% of migrants issued with skilled work visas in 2006 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system or have settled in the UK after 5 years. After 5 years 11% had some form of valid leave to remain and 29% had been granted permission to stay permanently (settlement). This is a reduction from 47% of migrants issued skilled work visas in 2004. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Third Report.

4.8 Data tables

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

5. Study

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

5.1 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.

5.2 Key facts

Study-related visas issued have risen 3% in the year to September 2013 (+6,052 to 216,895 including dependants). There were also higher numbers of sponsored study applications (main applicants) for the universities (+7%) and falls for other sectors.

Non-EU long term immigration for study has fallen by 10% to 133,000 for the year ending June 2013, compared with the previous 12 months (there was a fall over the same time period for study-related visas of 5%).

The 6,052 increase in study-related visas issued (excluding student visitors) includes higher numbers for Chinese (+4,685, +8%) and Malaysian (+2,120, +27%) nationals. There were falls for other nationalities, including for Pakistani (-8,165, -60%) and Indian (-4,343, -24%) nationals.

There was also a 15% increase in student visitor visas issued, to 76,672 for the year ending September 2013. Student visitors are normally only allowed to stay for up to 6 months (11 months for English Language schools) and cannot extend their stay.

  Latest 12 months (1) Previous 12 months (1) Change Change (%)
Study related visas issued (excl. student visitors) 216,895 210,843 6,052 3%
of which        
General student (Tier 4) 204,651 200,002 4,649 2%
Child student (Tier 4) 12,157 10,703 1,454 14%
         
Student visitors 76,672 66,547 10,125 15%
         
Long-term immigration for study (2) 133,000 148,000 -15,000 -10%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013 before entry table be 04 q, Migration, Office for National Statistics.
(1) Latest 12 months for visas issued data relates to the year ending September 2013, and for immigration for study data relates to the year ending June 2013.
(2) 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 July to September 2013, before entry table be 04 q and admissions table ad 02 q; Migration, 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 steep increases in all three series during 2009 and a steep decrease from 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 3% (+6,052) from 210,843 in the year ending September 2012 to 216,895 in the year ending September 2013. There were notable increases for Chinese (+4,685 or +8%), Malaysian (+2,120 or +27%), Brazilian (+1,817 or +133%), Iraqi (+1,400 or +70%) and Libyan (+1,341 or +96%) nationals. There were some decreases for other nationalities, including falls of 8,165 (-60%) for Pakistani and 4,343 (-24%) for Indian nationals.

The 1,341 increase in study-related visas issued to Libyans is consistent with a return to previous levels, following civil unrest in Libya. However, Libyans still accounted for a very small fraction of the total. In the year ending September 2013, visas issued to Libyan nationals represented 1% (2,739) of all study visas and 3% (2,423) of all student visitor visas issued.

Top 10 nationalities issued study visas (excluding student visitors), 2012

(Total 209,749)

The chart shows visas issued for the purposes of study by nationality for 2012. The chart is based on data in Table be 06 q s.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, before entry table be 06 q s.

The top 10 nationalities accounted for over two-thirds (70%) of all study visas issued in 2012, with the top 5 nationalities (China, India, United States, Nigeria and Pakistan) accounting for over half (53%).

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 September 2013 was at the highest level recorded (62,053) using comparable data.

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

5.4 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 2012, 68,351 student visitor visas were issued, 11% more (+6,945) than 2011. Most of the 6,945 increase related to Asian nationals (+3,590), with increases for Chinese (+1,757), South Korean (+827) and Japanese (+596) nationals. There was also an increase for Libyans (+1,484). The number of visas issued to student visitors has increased steadily since the category was introduced in September 2007.

Top 10 nationalities issued student visitor visas, 2012

(Total 68,351)

The chart shows student visitor visas issued by nationality for 2012. The chart is based on data in Table be 06 q s.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, before entry table be 06 q s.

The top 10 nationalities in the chart above accounted for over two-thirds (70%) of the 68,351 student visitor visas issued in 2012.

Although there had been a 6,945 increase in student visitor visas issued in 2012 at the same time as a fall in study visas issued by 52,121, the pattern of these changes for individual nationalities does not indicate a clear or consistent relationship. The nationalities accounting for most of the 52,121 fall in study visas issued (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) have seen only small changes in the number of student visitor visas issued, numbering +20, +73, +8 and -12 respectively.

There were 299,000 student visitor admissions in 2012. Of those arrivals admitted as student visitors in 2012, nearly half (49%) were from the United States (145,000) with Brazil the next largest nationality (6%, 19,400).

Many of the top 10 nationalities for student visitor admissions were non-visa nationalities (including the United States and Brazil). The main factor that accounts for student visitor admissions being much higher than visas issued is that non-visa 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.

5.5 Admissions

There were 21% (-56,000) fewer study-related admissions (excluding student visitors) in 2012 (211,000) than in 2011.

5.6 Immigration for study

In the year ending June 2013, there were an estimated 10% fewer non-EU long-term study-related migrants (133,000) than in the previous 12 months (148,000). Source: ONS, Long-Term International Migration.

5.7 Extensions of stay

There was a 7% increase in study-related grants of extension in the year ending September 2013 (99,061) compared with the year ending September 2012 (92,997). 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.

The 99,061 study-related extensions in the year ending September 2013 included 387 grants under the new Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme. (The new scheme was introduced on 6 April 2013.)

On 30 September 2013 there were 1,708 educational institutions on the UK Visas and Immigration register of sponsoring educational institutions. This was 1% lower than 1 July 2013 (1,724) and 14% lower than 1 October 2012 (1,983) 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 July to September 2013, before entry table cs 09 q.
“Universities” relate to UK-based Higher Education Institutions.
“Further education” relates to tertiary, further education or other colleges.

There were a similar number of study-related sponsored visa applications (main applicants) in the year ending September 2013 (211,100) compared with the previous 12 months (210,991). This included different trends for different sectors. In particular there was a 7% rise in sponsored visa applications for the university sector (to 167,262), and falls in the further education sector (to 23,145, -31%), English language schools (to 3,446, -8%) and independent schools (to 13,763, -2%).

There were 92,091 sponsored applications for extensions (main applicants) in the year ending September 2013, 7% more than the previous 12 months, but, again, the change was not uniform across the education sectors. There were 4% more sponsored applications for extensions in the university sector (to 55,311), along with increases in the further education sector (to 31,340, +16%) and independent schools (to 2,397, +7%). By contrast there were 40% fewer sponsored applications for extensions for English language schools (to 1,241).

5.9 Staying in the UK

The Migrant Journey Third Report reported that 1 in 5 (18%) of migrants issued student visas in 2006 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system or settled in the UK after 5 years. After 5 years 17% had some form of valid leave to remain and 1% had been granted permission to stay permanently (settlement). This is a reduction from 1 in 4 (25%) of migrants issued student visas in 2004. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Third Report.

5.10 Data tables

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

Tables cs 13 to cs 14 q provide new data on sponsored visa applications and sponsored applications for extensions for the university sector broken down by nationality.

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on student immigration, Migration.

6. Family

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

6.1 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’ (non-EEA nationals admitted to the UK for a period not exceeding 6 months on condition that they do not work) 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.

6.2 Key facts

In the year ending September 2013, 33,747 family route visas were issued. This is a decrease of 20% compared with the year ending September 2012 (42,146) and is the lowest number of family route visas issued since comparable records began in 2005. There was also a 6% increase in the number of visas issued to other dependants joining or accompanying migrants in the UK (75,260) compared with the previous 12 months (70,741).

The proportion of resolved family route visa applications that were refused was 38%. This compares with 21% in the year ending September 2012.

There were 36,752 extensions of stay for family reasons in the year ending September 2013. Of this total, 21,625 (59%) were granted under the spouse category and 15,012 (41%) were granted under the new Family Life (10 year) category. There were also 59,098 grants of settlement in the UK for family formation and reunion reasons, an increase of 26% from the previous 12 months. The majority of grants of settlement for family reasons were for spouses (49,920; 84%).

In the year ending June 2013 (the latest data available), the IPS estimated that 35,000 non-EU nationals immigrated to the UK to accompany or join others, with the intention of staying for a year or more. This is a decrease of 12,000 compared with the previous year (47,000).

  Latest 12 months (1) Previous 12 months (1) Change Change (%)
Family-related visas issued 33,747 42,146 -8,399 -20%
of which:        
Partners 24,665 32,764 -8,099 -25%
Children 3,874 4,184 -310 -7%
Other dependants 5,208 5,198 +10 +0%
         
All other dependants, excluding visitors - visas issued 75,260 70,741 +4,519 +6%
         
Immigration to accompany or join others (2) 35,000 47,000 -12,000 -26%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, before entry table be 01q, Migration, Office for National Statistics.
(1) Latest 12 months for visas issued data relates to the year ending September 2013. Latest 12 months immigration to accompany or join others data are for the year ending June 2013.
(2) Figures for Immigration to accompany or join others are estimated by the International Passenger Survey. They estimate the number of non-EU nationals intending to change their residence to the UK for at least 12 months. Information on the differences between visas issued and IPS estimates of immigration is included in the long-term trends in family immigration section below.

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 the year ending June 2013, IPS estimates show that 35,000 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 between the year ending March 2007 and the year ending September 2013, including a steeper decline since the year ending June 2011.

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 dependents 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 July to September 2013, before entry table be 04 q; Migration, 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 trends in visas issued and IPS estimates 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 therefore featuring in the IPS estimates.

6.4 Visas

In the year ending September 2013, 33,747 family-related visas were issued. This is a decrease of 20% compared with the year ending September 2012 (42,146).

Nationalities with the highest number of visas issued for family reasons in the year ending September 2013 were Pakistan (17%), India (9%), Nepal (5%), United States (5%) and Bangladesh (4%). All of these nationalities showed a decrease in the number of visas issued in the year ending September 2013 compared with the previous 12 months.

Of the total visas issued for family reasons, 24,665 (73%) were issued to partners, 3,874 (11%) were issued to children and 5,208 (15%) were issued to other dependants. Compared with the year ending September 2012, the number of visas issued to other dependants for family reasons remained the same; the number of visas issued to partners and children for family reasons fell by 25% and 7% respectively.

A visa application is resolved when a visa has been issued, refused or withdrawn, or when an application has lapsed. In the year ending September 2013, 38% of resolved family-related visa applications were refused. This compares with 21% in the year ending September 2012, and a longer-term trend of between 17% and 22% from December 2005 to this period. The recent increase coincides with recent changes to the family Immigration Rules in July 2012. However, it is not possible to separately identify whether decisions made on or after 9 July 2012 relate to applications made under the previous or new rules.

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 September 2013, 75,260 of these visas (excluding visitors) were issued, an increase of 6% compared with the previous 12 months (70,741). Of the 75,260 visas issued, 60% (45,242) were issued to other dependants of workers (an increase of 7% from the previous 12 months), 24% (18,090) to other dependants of students (an increase of 10% from the previous 12 months) and 16% (11,928) to other dependants accompanying or joining a migrant in the UK (no change from previous 12 months).

Despite the increase in visas issued in this category (+6%), the level is almost a third lower than the peak of around 107,000 in the year ending March 2007. 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.

6.5 Admissions

Admissions for family reasons fell to 27,300 in 2012 (compared with 32,300 in the previous 12 months), continuing the overall trend since 2006.

6.6 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 35,000 in the year ending June 2013. This is a decrease from 47,000 in the previous 12 months (-26%) and continues the downward trend seen over the past 2 years. Source: ONS, Long-Term International Migration.

6.7 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).

In the year ending September 2013 there were 36,752 grants of extension for family-related reasons. This is an increase of 21,293 compared with the previous 12 months, which follows year-on-year decreases in each of the previous 3 years.

Of the total extensions for family reasons, 21,625 (59%) were granted under the spouse category and 15,012 (41%) were granted under the Family Life (10 year) route. Relatively few extensions of stay were granted under the UK-born children, fiancé or other relative categories (115; 0%).

The large increase in the number of grants of extensions of stay for family reasons is partly due to a 49% increase in those granted to spouses (from 14,518 to 21,625) and partly due to the introduction of the new Family Life (10 year) route. Nearly half (44%) of the 21,625 grants of extensions to spouses during the year ending September 2013 were made in the first quarter of 2013. This may reflect additional resource deployed to decision-making at the beginning of 2013.

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. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of refusals ranged between 6% and 13% of all family-related decisions, but this number increased to 27% in the year ending September 2013.

Other dependants of migrants who have not been granted the right to stay permanently in the UK, for example workers and students, can also apply to extend their stay in the UK. In the year ending September 2013, 70,368 extensions were granted to dependants, an increase of 9,406 (+15%) from the previous 12 months. The increase was driven by an increase in extensions granted to other dependants of workers, from 42,680 to 52,862 (+24%).

6.8 Settlement

There were 59,098 grants of settlement in the UK for family formation and reunion reasons in the year ending September 2013, an increase of a quarter (+26%) from the previous 12 months. This number is around 10,000 lower than the peak of around 70,000 in 2009.

The majority of settlement grants were for spouses (49,920; 84%), with the remainder for children (6,521; 11%), parents and grandparents (902; 2%) and other or unspecified dependants (1,755; 3%).

The increase in grants of settlement for family reasons was driven by a 36% (+13,265) increase in the number of spouses granted settlement. The increase in the number of children granted settlement was small (+402) and there was small decreases in the number of parents, grandparents and other or unspecified dependants granted settlement (-1,395).

6.9 Staying in the UK

Analysis undertaken for the Migrant Journey Third Report showed that 66% of migrants issued family visas in 2006 appear to have legally remained in the immigration system after 5 years. Of these, 5% had some form of valid leave to remain and 61% had achieved settlement. This is an increase from 2004 when 59% of migrants issued family visas appeared to have legally remained in the UK. The Migrant Journey Fourth report will be published in early 2014. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Third Report.

6.10 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, Migration.

7. Before entry

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

7.1 Introduction

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

7.2 Key facts

There were 526,736 visas issued in the year ending September 2013, excluding visitor and transit visas, 4% (+18,536) higher than in the previous 12 months. This change was largely accounted for by an increase in work (+6,581), study (+6,052) and student visitor visas (+10,125), together with a fall in family visas (-8,399).

The number of student visitor visas issued continued to increase to 76,672 in the year ending September 2013 (+10,125 or +15%). Student visitor visas are issued for short-term study (typically for 6 months) and cannot be extended. Excluding visitors, transit visas and student visitors, there were 450,064 visas issued in the year ending September 2013, 2% higher than in the previous 12 months.

There were 1.9 million visitor visas issued in the year ending September 2013, 15% more (+256,367) than in the previous 12 months. Much of the 256,367 increase was accounted for by visitor visas issued to Chinese (+80,755 or +40%), Russian (+37,405 or +23%), Kuwaiti (+23,507 or +40%), Indian (+20,749 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+18,030 or +24%) nationals.

The number of passengers refused entry at port has risen slightly to 16,012 in the year ending September 2013 (2% higher than the previous 12 months).

Visas issued by reason

  Total issued (1) Work Study Student visitors (2) Family Dependant joining / accompanying Other
Year ending September 2008 581,056 181,156 226,086 41,052 55,519 45,349 31,894
Year ending September 2009 569,889 164,263 269,081 37,815 46,878 20,022 31,830
Year ending September 2010 618,414 161,020 309,004 46,369 53,641 15,448 32,932
Year ending September 2011 594,629 152,132 285,115 59,709 49,629 15,035 33,009
Year ending September 2012 508,200 145,558 210,843 66,547 42,146 11,908 31,198
Year ending September 2013 526,736 152,139 216,895 76,672 33,747 11,928 35,355
Change: latest 12 months +18,536 +6,581 +6,052 +10,125 -8,399 +20 +4,157
Percentage change +4% +5% +3% +15% -20% 0% +13%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, before entry table be 04 q.
(1) Figures exclude visitor and transit visas.
(2) 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 in September 2007. 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 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.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, based on data in before entry table be 04 q.
(1) 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 includes 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/accompanying) are available in the work, study and family sections.

7.3 Visas issued by nationality

There were 526,736 visas issued in the year ending September 2013, excluding visitor and transit visas, 18,536 higher than the year ending September 2012 (508,200).

This 18,536 increase included higher numbers of visas issued for Chinese (+5,073 or +7%), Russian (+2,916 or +15%), Libyan (+2,717 or +96%) and Malaysian (+2,073 or +22%) nationals. The increase for Libyan nationals suggests that the levels are starting to return to those seen prior to the start of civil unrest in the country.

Over half (52% or 275,078) of the 526,736 visas issued in the year ending September 2013 were to Asian nationals with a further 66,457 (13%) and 61,076 (12%) issued to nationals of the Americas and Africa respectively. Chinese nationals were issued the highest number of visas in the year ending September 2013 (79,879, 15%), followed by nationals of India (77,130, 15%) and the United States (36,421, 7%).

The following map illustrates that four of the top ten nationalities issued visas in the year ending September 2013 were Asian (China, India, Pakistan, Philippines), two Europe (Russia, Turkey), and one nationality each from the Americas (USA), Oceania (Australia), Africa (Nigeria) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia).

Top 10 nationalities issued visas, year ending September 2013

(Total 526,736, excluding transit and visitor visas)

The image shows the number of entry clearance visas issued, excluding visitor and transit visas, for the top 10 nationalities for the year ending September 2013. The data are available in Table be 06 q.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, before entry tables be 06 q.
(1) There were a total of 526,736 visas issued, excluding transit and visitor visas, 4% higher than the previous 12 months. The top ten nationalities accounted for 60% of the total. China excludes Hong Kong.

7.4 Visas issued by reason and nationality

The number of work-related visas issued fell overall until the year ending March 2013 (141,772). Since then, the levels have increased to 152,139 in the year ending September 2013.

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 216,895 for the year ending September 2013; 6,502 higher than in the previous 12 months. This 6,502 (+3%) increase in study visas issued included increases for Chinese (+4,685, +8%), Malaysian (+2,120, +27%) and Brazilian (+1,817, +133%) nationals. There were large falls in study visas issued to Pakistanis (-8,165, -60%) and Indians (-4,343, -24%).

Within the 10,125 (+15%) increase in visas issued for student visitors, there were increases for Turkish (+1,727, +23%), Russian (+1,399, +14%), Chinese (+1,354, 15%) and Libyan (+1,270, +110%) nationals.

The rise in the number of study and student visas issued to Libyans is consistent with a return to previous levels, following civil unrest in Libya, although they remain a very small share of the total (1% and 3% study and student visitors visas issued respectively).

After reaching a peak of 72,894 in the year ending March 2007, family visas issued have continued to decrease, falling by 20% in the year ending September 2013 (-8,399, to 33,747). For the latest 12 months, the largest falls were for Nepalese (-806, -32%), United States (-757, -33%), Indian (-737, -20%), Bangladeshi (-638, -30%) and Pakistani (-547, -9%) nationals. There was an increase for Syrian nationals (from 131 to 562), which is consistent with continuing civil unrest in Syria since early 2011.

There were 1,923,620 visitor visas issued in the year ending September 2013, 15% higher (+256,367) compared with the previous 12 months. The 256,367 increase was in large part due to increases for Chinese (+80,755 or +40%), Russian (+37,405 or +23%), Kuwaiti (+23,507 or +40%), Indian (+20,749 or +7%) and Saudi Arabian (+18,030 or +24%) nationals. By contrast the largest falls were for Iran (- 1,796 or -17%), Ghana (-3,605 or -17%) and Nigeria (-3,704 or -3%).

7.5 Data tables

Further data on entry clearance visas and passengers refused entry at port can be found in before entry vol. 2: tables be 01 q to be 08 q.

Before entry vol. 1: tables cs 01 to cs 10q provide data on sponsored visa applications for the work and study routes (both of which are described further in the Work and Study topics).

8. Admissions

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

8.1 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 up to the year ending September 2013; data on the purpose of journey (e.g. visit, work, study) and data for individual nationalities are available up to the end of 2012.

8.2 Key facts

There were 109.9 million journeys in the year ending September 2013, a 3% rise compared to the year ending September 2012 (106.3 million).

The 3.7 million increase in journeys in the year ending September 2013 included increases of 3.1 million journeys by British, other EEA and Swiss nationals (to 96.4 million) and of 0.5 million journeys by non-EEA nationals (to 13.5 million).

For non-EEA nationals there were 12.9 million journeys in 2012, 3% (-0.4 million) fewer than in 2011. There were falls for the work (-4% or -6,160), study (-21% or -56,100) and family (-15% or -4,990) categories, which may reflect policy changes for the work and study routes which came into effect during 2011, and a 3% (-0.2 million) fall for visitors. There was a 14% (+37,100) increase for student visitors.

Admissions by purpose of journey – non-EEA nationals

  Total admissions Work Study Student visitors(1) Family Visitors Other
2008 12.6 million 183,000 248,000 140,000 45,400 7.0 million 5.0 million
2009 12.3 million 161,000 291,000 198,000 36,600 6.9 million 4.8 million
2010 12.5 million 163,000 296,000 240,000 37,400 7.0 million 4.7 million
2011 13.3 million 149,000 267,000 262,000 32,300 7.9 million 4.7 million
2012 12.9 million 142,000 211,000 299,000 27,300 7.7 million 4.5 million
Change: latest year -0.4 million -6,160 -56,100 +37,100 -4,990 -0.2 million -0.2 million
Percentage change -3% -4% -21% +14% -15% -3% -4%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, 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.

The chart shows the total number of journeys made into the UK by broad nationality between 2004 and the latest calendar year available. The data are available in Table ad 01.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, admissions table ad 01.

8.3 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 July to September 2013, admissions table ad 03.

8.4 Data tables

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

9. Asylum

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

9.1 Introduction

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

9.2 Key facts

There were 23,765 asylum applications in the year ending September 2013, a rise of 2,875 (+14%) 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.

Compared with the previous 12 months the number of initial decisions on asylum applications has increased by 14% (+2,261) to 18,830 in the year ending September 2013. Of these, 37% (6,974) were grants of asylum, a form of temporary protection or other type of grant. This is similar to the proportion in the previous 12 months (36%; 5,937).

At the end of September 2013, 15,438 of the applications received since April 2006 from main applicants were pending a decision (initial decision, appeal or further review). This was 19% more than at the end September 2012.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service received 9,028 asylum appeals from main applicants in the year ending September 2013, a rise of 8% compared with the previous 12 months.

At the end of September 2013, 22,022 asylum seekers were being supported under Section 95 while their asylum claim was finally determined. The number of failed asylum seekers and their dependants receiving support (under Section 4) was 4,709.

Asylum applications and initial decisions for main applicants

  Total applications Initial decisions Granted (1) Refused
Year ending September 2010 18,097 21,713 5,281 (24%) 16,432 (76%)
Year ending September 2011 19,255 18,238 5,584 (31%) 12,654 (69%)
Year ending September 2012 20,890 16,569 5,937 (36%) 10,632 (64%)
Year ending September 2013 23,765 18,830 6,974 (37%) 11,856 (63%)
Change: latest 12 months +2,875 +2,261 +1,037 +1,224
Percentage change +14% +14% +17% +12%

9.3 Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, 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.

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 July to September 2013, asylum 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.

Applications for asylum rose 10% in 2012 (21,843) compared with 2011 (19,865). The annual number of applications remains low relative to the peak in 2002.

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.

Most applications are made by those already in the country (88% of applications in 2012) rather than by people arriving at port. The proportion of applications made at port has decreased since 2001 when 35% of asylum applications were made there. This decrease coincides with the opening of UK border controls (often termed ‘juxtaposed’ controls) in France and Belgium in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Applicants tend to be young and male. Of applicants in 2012, over half (57%) were between the ages of 18 and 39, and 72% were male.

9.4 Nationalities applying for asylum

In the year ending September 2013, the largest number of applications for asylum were from nationals of Pakistan (3,460), followed by Iran (2,632) and Sri Lanka (1,836).

The 2,875 increase in applications for the year ending September 2013 was driven by rises from a number of nationalities, in particular from Syria (+759), Albania (+493), Eritrea (+349), Pakistan (+339), and Bangladesh (+214). While Syria saw the largest increase in applications it remains fourth 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. Political unrest in Libya in 2011 coincided with an increase in asylum applications from Libyan nationals (722 applications in 2011 compared to 90 in 2010). Numbers of applications then fell during 2012 to 218 and remain at similar levels, reflecting a more stable situation in the country.

The year ending September 2013 saw the second highest proportion of grants of asylum, a form of temporary protection or other type of grant (37%, 6,974) since the start of the published quarterly series in 2001.

Top 10 nationalities applying for asylum, year ending September 2013

(Total number of applications 23,765)

Not supplied by authors.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, asylum table as 01 q.

9.5 Final outcome of asylum applications, by year of application

Following through the 21,843 main applicants who applied for asylum in 2012, an estimated 7,514 (34%) had been granted asylum, humanitarian protection, discretionary leave or other type of grant at either initial decision or appeal; 9,691 (44%) cases had been refused and a further 4,638 (21%) were awaiting confirmation of an initial decision or appeal in May 2013. However, the proportions granted or refused are subject to change as the 4,638 applications with a decision not currently known are still to be processed.

The overall proportion of applications either granted asylum or a form of temporary protection at initial decision, or having an appeal allowed, was estimated at 26% in 2004. Year on year the proportion gradually increased to a peak of 41% in 2011. This is accounted for in part by increased contributions of grants to individuals from Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but offset by decreased contributions to grants to nationals of Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

Not supplied by authors.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, asylum table as 06.
(1) Due to the large variety of routes that an asylum application can take to a final asylum outcome, the final outcome of a small percentage of asylum applications requires interpretation. Therefore these proportions and the underlying figures on final outcomes, available in Table as 06, are estimated.

9.6 Applications pending

At the end of September 2013, 15,438 of the applications received since April 2006 from main applicants were pending a decision (initial decision, appeal or further review), 19% more than at the end of September 2012 (13,008).

The increase is accounted for by an increase in the number pending an initial decision (+32%), which coincides with increasing numbers of applications.

9.7 Asylum appeals

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service received 9,028 asylum appeals from main applicants in the year ending September 2013, a rise of 688 (+8%) compared with the previous 12 months (8,340). 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 September 2013, the proportion of appeals dismissed was 67%, while 25% of appeals were allowed and 8% were withdrawn.

Asylum appeals received and determined for main applicants

  Appeals received Total appeals determined Allowed Dismissed Withdrawn
Year ending September 2010 15,124 15,777 4,457 (28%) 10,695 (68%) 625 (4%)
Year ending September 2011 11,045 11,565 3,041 (26%) 7,831 (68%) 693 (6%)
Year ending September 2012 8,340 8,491 2,288 (27%) 5,637 (66%) 566 (7%)
Year ending September 2013 9,028 8,350 2,091 (25%) 5,622 (67%) 637 (8%)
Change: latest 12 months +688 -141 -197 -15 +71
Percentage change +8% -2% -9% 0% +13%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, asylum table as 14 q.

9.8 Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

In 2012, 5% (1,125) of all main applications for asylum were from Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASCs), of which 83% (936) were from males. A total of 681 initial decisions were made on applications from UASCs in 2012. Of these, 13% (87) were asylum seekers aged 18 or over when the decision was made. For those under and over 18, 85% and 39% respectively were given a grant of asylum, a form of temporary protection, or other type of grant.

Due to a change in counting methodology for figures for UASCs, data prior to 2012 are not directly comparable with more recent data. For the purposes of making comparisons in this briefing, the first three quarters of 2012 and 2013 have been used.

There were 835 asylum applications from UASCs for the first three quarters of 2013, an increase of 2% from the first three quarters of 2012 (817). In the first three quarters of 2013, just over a third of UASC applications were accounted for by male Afghan nationals (34%), and just under a sixth by male Albanian nationals (13%).

There were 892 initial decisions for UASCs in the first three quarters of 2013. This was more than in the whole of 2012 and 54% higher than the first three quarters of 2012 (580). Overall, there was a fall in the proportion of decisions that were grants, from 78% of decisions in the first three quarters of 2012 to 71% in the first three quarters of 2013. Over the same period, there was a decrease in the proportion of decisions that were grants for Albanian nationals (the top nationality for decisions), from 75% (86 out of 115 decisions) to 64% (154 out of 239).

9.9 Age disputes

The Home Office disputes the age of some asylum applicants who claim to be children. In 2012, 337 individuals had their age disputed, of which 24% (82) were Afghan nationals, 15% (50) were Albanian and 14% (47) were Vietnamese.

Due to a change in counting methodology for figures for age-disputed cases, data prior to 2012 are not directly comparable with later data. For the purposes of making comparisons, the first three quarters of 2012 and 2013 are used in this briefing.

In the first three quarters of 2013, Afghanistan was the nationality that had the most age disputes (43 cases representing 19% of the total), followed by Albania and Syria in joint second place (each 11% of the total).

In 2012, 467 individuals were recorded as having an age assessment completed, of whom 48% had a date of birth showing that they were under 18 when the age dispute was raised.

9.10 Dependants

Including dependants, the number of asylum applications increased from 21,843 to 27,978 in 2012. This is an average of 1 dependant for every 4 main applicants. Comparing the 10 nationalities with the highest number of main applicants in 2012, the ratios of dependants to main applicants ranges from 1 dependant for every 18 main applicants for nationals of Eritrea to 1 dependant for every 2 main applicants from Nigeria and Pakistan.

In 2012 5,085 initial decisions were made relating to dependants. Of these 1,407 (28%) were granted asylum, 331 (7%) were granted a form of temporary protection or other type of grant, and 3,347 (66%) were refused. The proportion refused asylum was higher than main applicants in 2012 (64%), although lower than the proportion for dependants in 2011 (72%).

9.11 Support

The method for processing figures for asylum support changed from the previous publication. Figures from the first quarter of 2013 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. Figures include dependants.

At the end of September 2013, 22,022 asylum seekers 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).

The number of failed asylum seekers and their dependants receiving support (under Section 4) at the end of September 2013 was 4,709. 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 falling numbers of asylum applications and the clearance of a backlog of asylum cases from the early part of the century.

9.12 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 2012, a total of 1,039 refugees were resettled in the UK through this process, higher than the previous year (454). This rise is due to the scheduling of most arrivals in the last quarter of the financial year (January to March 2012).

9.13 International comparisons

Including dependants, the estimated total number of asylum applications to the EU27 was 312,400 in 2012. The total number of asylum applications across the EU27 increased from 284,800 in 2011, and was the highest since 2003 (using comparable data from 2002 onwards).

Top 10 EU countries receiving asylum applications, 2012

(Total number of applications 312,400, including dependants)

The chart shows the top 10 countries receiving asylum applications in 2012. The data are available in Table as 07.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, asylum table as 07
Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

The UK had the fourth highest number of asylum applications within the EU in 2012. This is an increase from sixth highest in 2011 and fifth highest in 2010 but a drop from 2009 when the UK was second highest. In 2012, Germany, France and Sweden had more asylum applicants than the UK. In the third quarter of 2013, the UK had dropped to fifth place; the top four EU countries for the number of asylum applications were Germany, Sweden, France and Hungary.

With the relative size of resident populations of the 27 EU countries taken into account, the UK ranked 13th in terms of asylum seekers per head of the population in 2012, compared with 14th in 2011.

9.14 Data tables

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

10. Extensions of stay

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 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 extend their stay in the UK. An individual may make more than application in any given year.

10.2 Key facts

There was an increase of 4% (+11,787) in the total number of grants of extensions in the year ending September 2013 (284,902) compared with the previous 12 months. This followed annual falls over the previous 3 years, from 354,195 in the year ending September 2009 to 273,115 in the year ending September 2012.

Work-related grants of extensions (129,875) were 9% (-12,525) lower in the year ending September 2013. This included a fall in Tier 1 Post-Study extensions and increases in Tier 1 General and Tier 2 Skilled Workers extensions, reflecting shorter visas granted for such workers from 2008. Further information is given in the detailed section below.

Study-related grants of extensions increased by 7% (+6,064) to 99,061 but were still lower than the previous 3 years.

Family-related grants of extensions rose by 21,293 to 36,752. The 21,293 increase included 14,150 grants in the new Family Life (10-year) category.

Grants of extensions by reason, and refusals

  Total decisions Total grants Work Study Family Other Total refusals
Year ending September 2009 403,984 354,195 182,442 133,545 23,497 14,711 49,789
Year ending September 2010 376,381 312,035 139,317 129,840 22,263 20,615 64,346
Year ending September 2011 356,886 302,601 128,927 129,158 17,645 26,871 54,285
Year ending September 2012 304,487 273,115 142,400 92,997 15,459 22,259 31,372
Year ending September 2013 365,857 284,902 129,875 99,061 36,752 19,214 80,955
Change: latest 12 months +61,370 +11,787 -12,525 +6,064 +21,293 -3,045 +49,583
Percentage change +20% +4% -9% +7% +138% -14% +158%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, extensions table ex 01 q.

10.3 Grants of extensions for work

There were 129,875 work-related grants of extensions in the year ending September 2013, 9% lower than in the previous 12 months (142,400) and 29% lower than the year ending September 2009 (182,442).

Grants of extensions to Tier 1 High Value individuals for work fell from 89,748 to 54,617 (-39%) in the year ending September 2013. This was driven by a fall in grants in the Post-Study work route, which was down from 52,702 to 1,342. This was partly offset by rises in grants in the Tier 1 General route (from 35,350 to 48,275) and Tier 1 Entrepreneur route (from 1,127 to 3,961). Additional analysis in the ‘Extensions of stay by previous category’ article shows that almost all (97%) extensions in the Tier 1 General route in 2012 were granted to individuals already in this route.

The Post-Study work route was closed to new applications on 6 April 2012 but existing applications continue to be processed after this date. Individuals who have graduated after studying in the UK can stay under other immigration routes if they meet certain criteria. The Tier 1 General route was closed to applicants who are outside the UK in December 2010 and to migrants who were already in the UK, in most immigration categories, in April 2011, but again, existing applications continued to be processed after this time.

There was a 47% increase in grants of extensions for Tier 2 Skilled Workers (from 43,030 to 63,103) in the year ending September 2013, which is 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. Additional analysis of the previous category of individuals granted an extension in the Tier 2 Skilled Workers route in 2011 and 2012 is given in the article ‘Extensions of stay by previous category’ and supports this explanation of the increase in Tier 2 extensions.

10.4 Grants of extensions for study

Study-related grants of extensions rose by 7% (+6,064) to 99,061 in the year ending September 2013. This followed a 30% fall from 133,545 in the year ending September 2009 to 92,997 in the year ending September 2012.

10.5 Grants of extensions for family reasons

Family-related grants of extensions rose by 138% (+21,293) to 36,752 in the year ending September 2013, after falling in each of the previous 3 years. Of the 21,293 increase, 14,150 were due to grants in the new Family Life (10-year) category.

The introduction of the new Family Life (10-year) route, ‘Statement of intent: Family migration’, 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. Applicants must satisfy new requirements set out in the amended Immigration Rules.

The remainder of the increase in family-related grants of extensions was accounted for by higher numbers of grants to spouses, from 14,518 to 21,625 (+49%), a return to the level seen in the year ending September 2010 (21,689) but still lower than 2008 (27,094).

Nearly half (44%) of the 21,625 grants of extensions to spouses during the year ending September 2013 were made in the first quarter of 2013. This may reflect additional resource deployed to decision-making at the beginning of 2013.

10.6 Grants of extensions for other reasons

Grants of extensions in other categories fell by 14% (-3,045) to 19,214. This mainly reflected a fall in discretionary leave grants which was partly a result of the new approach to those seeking to remain in the UK on the basis of their family and/or private life from 9 July 2012 referred to above.

10.7 Refusals of extensions by category

There was a sharp increase in Tier 1 refusals of an extension from 4,916 to 10,874 in the year ending September 2013. This was due to an increase in refusals of extensions to Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (from 508 to 8,602) which was partly offset by a decrease in Tier 1 Post-Study refusals from 3,375 to 659. The increase in refusals of extensions to Tier 1 Entrepreneurs follows the introduction of a credibility test and a change to the Immigration Rules, Changes to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route from 31 January 2013 - updated, that requires the necessary minimum funds to be held, or invested in the business, on an ongoing basis rather than solely at the time of application.

Refusals of a family-related extension rose from 1,728 in the year ending September 2012 to 13,359 in the year ending September 2013. This was accounted for by an increase in refusals to spouses (from 1,583 to 6,192) and refusals under the new Family Life (10-year) route (7,154 in the year ending September 2013).

Refusals of study-related extensions rose by almost a quarter (+24%) from 13,137 to 16,244 in the year ending September 2013.

The remainder of the 49,583 increase in refusals, shown in the table above, was accounted for by increases in the “other” category (up 28,472; from 8,919 to 37,391). Of the 28,472 increase, 4,288 were due to refusals of an extension under the Private Life category and the remainder are thought likely to mainly relate to refusals of discretionary leave.

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

The chart shows grants 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 July–September 2013, extensions table ex 01.

10.8 Nationalities granted an extension

(excludes dependants)

Of the total 197,377 extensions of stay in 2012, 69% (135,334) were granted to Asian nationals and 14% (27,183) were granted to African nationals.

Top 10 nationalities granted an extension to stay, 2012

(Total number of grants 197,377, excludes dependants)

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

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, extension table ex 02.

10.9 Data tables

Further data on extensions are available in extensions tables ex 01 to ex 02.

11. Settlement

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

11.1 Introduction

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

11.2 Key facts

In the year ending September 2013, the number of people granted permission to permanently stay increased by 13% to 152,185. However, this remained notably lower than the level in the year ending September 2010 (241,586). The 17,653 increase was accounted for by rises in family-related grants (+12,272), asylum-related grants (+8,897), and discretionary or other grants (+1,134), partly offset by a fall in work-related grants (-4,650).

Family-related grants to permanently stay rose by 26% to 59,098 although they were still lower than the peak of 75,852 in the year ending March 2010.

Work-related grants to permanently stay fell by 7% to 60,653, continuing earlier falls from 88,585 in the year ending September 2010.

Asylum-related grants to permanently stay rose by 74% to 20,855. The lower levels in the years ending September 2009 and 2010 reflect 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 permanently stay on a discretionary or other basis rose by 11% to 11,579. 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 permanently stay by reason, and refusals

  Total decisions Total grants Work Asylum-related Family Discretionary or Other Refusals
Year ending September 2009 187,906 177,595 75,980 3,241 64,862 33,512 10,311
Year ending September 2010 254,168 241,586 88,585 3,368 75,401 74,232 12,582
Year ending September 2011 191,915 182,892 68,973 11,385 55,407 47,127 9,023
Year ending September 2012 138,749 134,532 65,303 11,958 46,826 10,445 4,217
Year ending September 2013 159,318 152,185 60,653 20,855 59,098 11,579 7,133
Change: latest 12 months +20,569 +17,653 -4,650 +8,897 +12,272 +1,134 +2,916
Percentage change +15% +13% -7% +74% +26% +11% +69%

Table note

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, settlement table se 02 q.

The chart below illustrates longer-term trends in grants to permanently stay for the calendar years back to 2001.

The chart shows the number of people granted settlement by calendar year from 2001. The data are available in Table  se 02.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, settlement table se 02.

The increase in 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 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.

11.3 Nationalities granted permission to permanently stay

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

Top 10 nationalities granted permission to permanently stay, 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 July to September 2013, settlement table se 03.

11.4 Data tables

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

12. Citizenship

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

12.1 Introduction

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

12.2 Key facts

There were 8% more decisions (up to 206,369) and 8% more people granted British citizenship (up by 14,211 to 198,952) in the year to September 2013 than in the previous 12 months. Applications rose by 10% (to 204,635) in the same period. The overall increase in the last decade is likely, in part, to reflect increased grants of permission to stay permanently (known as settlement) up until 2010.

The 14,211 increase in grants of British citizenship was accounted for by higher numbers of people granted on the basis of residence, (up 6,952 to 108,209), marriage (up 4,320 to 41,922) and to children (up 3,835 to 44,464). Grants for other reasons fell (by 896 to 4,357).

Grants and refusals of citizenship

  Total decisions Total grants On basis of residence On basis of marriage On basis of children Other bases Refusals & withdrawals
Year ending Sept 2009 208,615 197,871 98,505 49,922 45,546 3,898 10,744
Year ending Sept 2010 205,014 197,051 94,646 48,791 48,093 5,521 7,963
Year ending Sept 2011 186,733 179,532 92,627 36,969 44,734 5,202 7,201
Year ending Sept 2012 191,264 184,741 101,257 37,602 40,629 5,253 6,523
Year ending Sept 2013 206,369 198,952 108,209 41,922 44,464 4,357 7,417
Change: latest 12 months +15,105 +14,211 +6,952 +4,320 +3,835 -896 +894
Percentage change +8% +8% +7% +11% +9% -17% +14%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, 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 2001 and the latest calendar year. The data are available in Table cz 03.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, citizenship table cz 03.

Overall, the numbers of grants have risen from 2001 onwards. The increase in the last decade 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 194,209 grants in 2012, lower than the peak of 203,789 in 2009, but remaining more than double the level seen in 2001 (90,282).

12.3 Grants of citizenship by previous nationality

Former Indian and Pakistani nationals have accounted for the largest numbers of grants in almost every year from 2001 to 2012, 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 almost a quarter (24%) of grants in 2012.

Top 10 previous nationalities granted citizenship, 2012

(Total number of grants 194,209)

The chart shows grants of citizenship by previous nationality in 2012. The chart is based on data in Table cz 06.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, citizenship table cz 06.

The top 7 previous nationalities remained the same in 2012 as in 2011, Bangladeshi nationals were eighth (previously tenth), and Zimbabwe and Somali nationals were ninth and tenth (replacing Iraq and Iran in the top 10).

12.4 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 2012 London remained the region with the highest proportion of ceremonies (42%).

12.5 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 citizenship ceremonies attended and renunciations of citizenship.

13. Detention

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

13.1 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).

13.2 Key facts

The number of people entering detention increased to 30,387 in the year ending September 2013, up 6% on the previous 12 month period (28,702) and the highest figure using comparable data available since 2009. Over the same period there was an increase of 6% in those leaving detention (from 28,479 to 30,116). Of those leaving detention, 57% were removed from the UK. The higher throughput may relate to more rigorous attention to detainee reviews which are conducted at regular intervals by an immigration official.

As at the end of September 2013, 3,115 people were in detention, 1% higher than the number recorded at the end of September 2012 (3,091).

In the third quarter of 2013, 52% of people leaving detention were removed, compared with 60% in the third quarter of 2012. This continues a downward trend from the first quarter of 2010 when comparable data were first available.

In the third quarter of 2013, 65 children entered detention. 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 opened in the third quarter of 2011 and has been specifically designed for families and provides, 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.

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

  Entering detention Leaving detention In detention
Year ending September 2011 26,363 26,323 2,909
Year ending September 2012 28,702 28,479 3,091
Year ending September 2013 30,387 30,116 3,115
Change: latest 12 months +1,685 +1,637 +24
Percentage change +6% +6% +1%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July to September 2013, detention tables dt 01 q, dt 05 q and dt 10 q.

13.3 Length of detention

During the third quarter of 2013, 7,956 people left detention. Of these, 4,927 (62%) had been in detention for less than 29 days, 1,586 (20%) for between 29 days and two months and 1,050 (13%) for between two and four months. Of the 393 (5%) remaining, 37 had been in detention for between one and two years and 11 for two years or longer.

Around a third of people leaving detention were detained for seven days or less (2,750). Of these, 1,680 (61%) were removed, 983 (36%) were granted temporary admission or release and 27 (1%) were bailed. Of the 48 detained for 12 months or more, 17 (35%) were removed, 13 (27%) were granted temporary admission or release and 17 (35%) were bailed.

13.4 Children in detention

This release includes 2 new tables (dt 02 and dt 02 q) on children entering detention by age and place of initial detention. The number of children entering detention had risen between the start of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012 but has since fluctuated. The low number of children entering detention in the first quarter of 2013 (37) coincided with the closure of Tinsley House IRC to new entrants for most of the quarter, though this was then followed by a similarly low figure for the second quarter of 2013 (38 children). From the first quarter of 2013 Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC, as opposed to Tinsley House IRC, has now been separately identified in the chart below showing trends as conditions specific to the Family Unit are similar to those that apply in Cedars PDA.

In the third quarter of 2013, 65 children entered detention, compared with 52 in the third quarter of 2012 and 37 in the third quarter of 2011. Of those children entering detention in the third quarter of 2013, 30 were initially detained at Cedars PDA, 34 at Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC and 1 at Colnbrook STHF.

Of the 63 children leaving detention in the third quarter of 2013, 28 were removed from the UK and the remaining 35 were granted temporary admission or release. Of those leaving detention, 54 had been detained for less than three days, 8 for between four and seven days and one had been detained, in Tinsley House, for between eight and fourteen days. The proportion 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. In the third quarter of 2013, 28 of the 63 children leaving detention were removed.

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 July to September 2013, 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.

13.5 Data tables

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

14. Removals and voluntary departures

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

14.1 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 individuals. 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 are 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.

14.2 Key facts

Enforced removals from the UK decreased by 10% to 13,533 in the year ending September 2013 compared with the previous 12 months (14,985). 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 2% in the year ending September 2013 to 14,122 from 13,871 for the previous 12 months. Long-term trends show levels decreasing since 2004, particularly between the third quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010.

In the year ending September 2013, there was an increase of 1% in total voluntary departures to 30,184 compared with the previous year (29,750). 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 to count 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

  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 September 2008 17,841 32,278 17,898 4,069 4,489 9,340 52%
Year ending September 2009 15,354 31,374 20,520 4,851 3,628 12,041 59%
Year ending September 2010 14,966 20,431 27,609 4,922 5,912 16,775 61%
Year ending September 2011 14,786 16,118 24,925 3,004 6,906 15,015 60%
Year ending September 2012 14,985 13,871 29,750 3,701 7,464 18,585 62%
Year ending September 2013 13,533 14,122 30,184 4,151 7,080 18,953 63%
Change: latest 12 months -1,452 +251 +434 +450 -384 +368 -
Percentage change -10% +2% +1% +12% -5% +2% -

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, removals 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 September 2013, 63% of those departing were categorised as other confirmed voluntary departures, 23% as notified voluntary departures and 14% 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; AVRs fell from 6,200 to 4,157 in 2007 whereas other confirmed voluntary departures increased from 4,449 to 6,883 in the same period and have increased almost every year since, to 18,953 in the year ending September 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 July to September 2013, removals table rv 01 q.

The number of people refused entry at port and subsequently removed 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 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 enforcement action on those who remain in the UK. Since the end of 2009, this category represents the largest proportion of those departing from the UK within this data series. 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 figure (year ending September 2013; 13,533) represents the lowest level since the series began in 2004.

14.4 Asylum and non-asylum enforced removals

In the year ending September 2013 there were 4,860 enforced removals of people who had sought asylum at some stage, down 7% from the previous 12-month period (5,247). This figure is 59% 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 September 2013, 64% of total enforced removals were non-asylum cases (8,673), down 11% from the previous 12-month period (9,738) and down 14% from the peak of 10,070 in 2008.

14.5 Removals and voluntary departures by nationality

The highest number of enforced removals in the year ending September 2013 were for nationals of Pakistan (1,924; 14% of the total). The second highest were for nationals of India (1,663; 12% of the total), who have also shown the largest decrease compared with the year ending September 2012 (-449 or -21%).

The highest number of passengers refused entry at port and subsequently departed involved nationals of the United States (2,002; 14% of the total). The second and third highest involved nationals of Albania (995) and Brazil (879). 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, and will therefore not have been through a process prior to arrival which can refuse entry. The largest increase involved nationals of Albania, who require a visa for entry to the UK (+294 cases or +42%).

The highest number of voluntary departures in the year ending September 2013 involved nationals of India (7,309; 24% of the total). The second highest involved nationals of Pakistan, with 3,817 voluntary departures, who have also shown the largest increase compared with the year ending September 2012 (+537 or +16%).

14.6 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. ‘Higher harm’ assessments include people who have committed serious criminal and immigration offences.

In the year ending March 2013, 14,283 enforced removals and 29,883 voluntary departures were subject to an assessment for a harm rating, of which 18% and 1% respectively were assessed as ‘higher harm’. In the previous financial year, 22% of enforced removals and 1% of total voluntary departures were assessed as ‘higher harm’.

14.7 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 2013, 4,684 foreign national offenders were removed compared with 4,539 in the year ending March 2012.

During the third quarter of 2013, 1,137 foreign national offenders were removed, which represents a decrease of 1% from the number removed in the third quarter of 2012 (1,145).

14.8 Data tables

Further data on removals and voluntary departures are available in:

15. European Economic Area (EEA)

Valid: 28 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

15.1 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, Romania and Croatia have certain restrictions placed on them). 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.

15.2 Key facts

In the year ending September 2013 a large proportion (88%) of the 109.9 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 the year ending June 2013, more British nationals emigrated from the UK (141,000) than immigrated to the UK (77,000) i.e. a net migration of -64,000. By contrast, fewer other EU nationals emigrated from the UK (78,000) than immigrated to the UK (183,000), i.e. net migration of +106,000.

In the first 3 months since the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013, 117 applications were received from Croatians for certificates as evidence of their right to work in the UK.

For EU2 nationals (Bulgaria and Romania) approvals under the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) continued to fall, by 10% to 465 in the year ending September 2013, compared with the previous 12 months; and approvals under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) fell by 5% to 19,451.

For EU2 nationals, there were 2,452 applications for accession worker cards in 2012 and 28,224 applications for registration certificates, down 26% and 20% respectively compared with 2011. There were corresponding falls in approvals to 1,802 (-32%) and 22,378 (-7%). Applications for registration certificates appear to have followed a downward trend since 2011.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are also able to work in the UK on a self-employed basis, but are not required to apply for documentation to confirm this right. From accession on 1 July 2013 this has also been the case for Croatian nationals, though there are no special employment schemes (such as SAWS and the SBS) set up for Croatians. Separate figures from the ONS Labour Force Survey indicate an increase between 2008 and 2012 in the numbers of Bulgarians (from 19,000 to 25,000) and Romanians (from 21,000 to 66,000) living in households and working in the UK.

In 2012, there were 83,644 decisions on applications for residence documents (for EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals who were related to EEA nationals), down 15% on 2011. Of these decisions there were a third fewer providing an initial recognition of right to reside (32,215, down 32%) and a quarter fewer giving recognition of permanent residence (15,197, down 28%). There were increases in the numbers refused initial recognition of right to reside (9,472, up 12%) and refused recognition of permanent residence (2,332, up 17%).

15.3 Admissions of EEA nationals

Passenger arrivals including estimates of EEA admissions

The chart shows numbers of passengers arriving between 2001 and the latest calendar year available, from Home Office admissions data, available in Table ad 01.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration statistics July to September 2013, admissions table ad 01.

Estimates from the 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 then rose again to 63.2 million in 2012. The number rose to 63.8 million in the 12 months to June 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 31.3 million in the 12 months to June 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.

15.4 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 the year ending June 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; 77,000 nationals immigrating and 141,000 emigrating, i.e. a net migration of -64,000, compared to -76,000 in the previous 12-month period. This compares with an estimated 183,000 other EU nationals immigrating and 77,000 emigrating in the year ending June 2013, i.e. a net migration of +106,000, a statistically significant increase from the previous 12 months (+72,000).

Estimates from the International Passenger Survey show that in the year ending June 2013, 48% of British and 69% of other EU national immigrants came for work-related reasons. By contrast, only 19% of non-EU immigrants came for work, while 62% came for study.

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

15.5 Croatia

In the first 3 months since accession on 1 July 2013, 117 applications were received from Croatians for certificates as evidence of their right to work in the UK. Of these 46 were for accession worker cards and 71 were for a registration certificate. As at 18 October 2013, 25 of the accession worker card applications and 44 of the registration certificates had been approved.

15.6 ‘EU2’ countries – Bulgaria and Romania

Applications for accession worker cards, required by Bulgarians and Romanians to work in the UK as an employee, and for registration certificates that provide proof of residency rights, fell in 2012 compared with 2011, with falls of 26% to 2,452 and 20% to 28,224, respectively. The corresponding data on approvals show falls of 32% to 1,802 and 7% to 22,378.

Application and approvals data for the first and second quarters of 2013 have been revised upward compared to data previously published following the allocation of additional resource to deal with these cases within the Home Office. Other reasons for revisions of accession worker cards and registration certificate applications and approvals data over time include that:

  • as decisions are made relating to the applications in a quarter, the number of approvals recorded against that quarter’s applications will increase; and

  • as decisions are made, and data are entered on administrative systems, the number of applications recorded on systems can increase.

In the year ending September 2013, approvals under the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) fell by 10% to 465 compared to the previous 12 months and over the same period approvals under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Scheme (SAWS) fell by 5% to 19,451.

Approvals under the SBS have fallen from a peak of 1,569 in 2008, and have since been well below 1,000, at 775 in 2009, 601 in 2010 and 787 in 2011. The number then fell sharply to 488 in 2012. 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 Other related data).

SAWS approvals rose from 8,058 in 2007 to 16,461 in 2008 and averaged around 20,000 for 2009 to 2011. There was a slight rise to 20,821 in 2012. They have fallen back slightly in the year ending September 2013 (to 19,451).

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are also able to work in the UK on a self-employed basis, but are not 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 2008 and 2012 in the numbers of Bulgarians (from 19,000 to 25,000) and Romanians (from 21,000 to 66,000) living and working in the UK. (Source: Table 4.3, International Migration and the United Kingdom, Report of the United Kingdom SOPEMI correspondent to the OECD, 2012).

15.7 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 83,644 decisions on applications for EEA residence documents in 2012, 15% (-14,338) fewer than in 2011, but similar to the numbers of decisions made in earlier years.

Within this, decisions recognising permanent residence had shown a generally rising trend between 2007 (7,623) and 2011 (21,159). 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.

The latest year’s decisions to issue initial right to reside documents and those in recognition of permanent residence fell in 2012 (by 32% and 28% respectively), in total and for most nationalities. Only Bulgaria and Romania saw notable rises in 2012, in the issue of documents in recognition of permanent residence although numbers remain low. Issues to Bulgarians rose to 1,067 in 2012 compared with 13 in 2011, while issues to Romanians rose to 1,110 from 24 in the previous year. This is likely to be due to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals having had the opportunity to live in the UK under European regulations since accession in 2007.

The number of applications found to be invalid on receipt by the Home Office in 2012 compared to 2011 rose to 14,438 for initial right to reside (up 1,794 or +14%) and to 9,568 for documents certifying permanent residence (up 4,346 or +83%). This new category of refusal was introduced in 2011 for applications that didn’t provide key information or documentation. 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.

15.8 Data tables

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

16. 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 topic briefings, providing data up to the third quarter of 2013 ( July to September).

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.

16.1 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 website, Assessment reports.

16.2 Changes to topic briefings and tables

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

  • Croatia: New quarterly data of applications for and approvals of accession worker cards and registration certificates for Croatian nationals under transitional restrictions introduced on 1 July 2013 have been added to the EEA topic briefing.

  • Children entering detention: New quarterly tables (dt 02 and dt 02 q) have been introduced that specifically show children entering detention by first place of detention and age. These tables, unlike others covering immigration detention, will show Tinsley House Family Unit separately from the rest of the Tinsley House facility. The new tables show the number of children entering accommodation designed specifically for families and those entering accommodation designed for adults. The quarterly chart showing children entering detention, solely under Immigration Act powers, from 2010 has been amended to show a new split by accommodation type from the first quarter of 2013. Specifically, Tinsley House Family Unit Immigration removal Centre and Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation are shown separately from immigration removals centres and short term holding facilities. The new presentation also splits Tinsley House between those detained in the Family Unit and for the rest of Tinsley House facility that operates as a normal Immigration Removal Centre.

  • Sponsored study visa applications: New annual and quarterly tables (cs 13, cs 13 q, cs 14 and cs 14 q) are included which show the nationality breakdown for the Certificates of Acceptances for Study (CAS) used data for the university (UK-based higher education institutions) sector.

16.3 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 quarter of 2013 have been revised upwards, from 3,821 to 4,828 (+26%) and notified voluntary departures for the first 6 months of 2013 have been cumulatively revised, from 3,018 to 3,785 (+25%) in this quarterly release.

Within the European Economic Area section, data on approvals for registration certificates and accession worker cards, for the first and second quarters of 2013 have been revised upward compared to data previously published; for the two quarters, registration certificates have been revised from a total of 4,907 to 7,992 and accession worker cards from 690 to 924 as part of the expected revision process.

16.4 Future changes

The following change is planned, subject to data quality and available resources:

EEA topic: Migration Statistics anticipate that the EEA section of this release will be discontinued during 2013 to 2014, following the end of transitional controls for the EU2 nationals (Bulgaria and Romania). 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.

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

16.5 Migration Statistics User Forum

In June 2013, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) formally recognised the work of the Migration Statistics User Forum (MSUF), which means that the MSUF is now affiliated to the main RSS Statistics User Forum.

16.6 User conference 16 September 2014

Copies of the presentations given at the 17 September 2013 conference, including the latest position on e-borders data, are available via the MIGRATION-STATS JISCmail list (details below of how to join the list).

A one-day migration statistics user forum conference is planned for 16 September 2014. If you would like to contribute to organising the conference or offer a presentation, please contact us at MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. Details of the planned agenda and how to register will be made available closer to the date via the JISCmail list .

16.7 Communications

An email distribution list is available to allow communication between users and producers of migration statistics throughout the year.

Specifically, this is a forum for discussion of migration statistics that allows 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 list also provides access to contact details for the Home Office’s Migration Statistics team.

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

16.8 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, Migration statistics.

16.9 Home Office statistical work programme

The Home Office has published the ‘Home Office statistical work programme 2013 to 2014’ 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.

16.10 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.

17.1 Work

A range of measures can be used to monitor those, subject to immigration control, coming to the UK to work. These include:

  • issues of visas for entry clearance, providing information on those intending to come;
  • admissions data, providing information on migrants at the border; and
  • estimates on non-EU immigration from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) on migrants intending to stay for at least a year for work purposes.

In addition, grants of (in-country) extensions of stay for work purposes provide information on migrants in-country, while work-related grants of settlement provide a measure of longer-term migration.

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

ONS figures on long-term immigration in this topic 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. 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, Admissions and Settlement sections of the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics include a discussion on the differences between the various data sources presented on immigration for work.

Data includes dependants unless stated otherwise.

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.

The user guide provides further details on the topics related to work including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database or from surveys.

IPS data for 2012 are final. All other data for 2012 and 2013 are provisional.

Figures for admissions and immigration are estimates rounded to the nearest thousand.

The UK Border Agency report ‘Points-based system Tier 1: an operational assessment – November 2010’ looked into the jobs being done by migrants who were in the UK under Tier 1 of the points-based system, to inform subsequent decisions about the points-based system, in particular the closure of the Tier 1 General and Tier 1 Post-Study routes.

Office for National Statistics publish international migration ‘statistics on those migrating for work’, and ‘labour market statistics’ (including employment rates and changes by country of birth and by nationality).

‘National Insurance Number Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals entering the UK’ are published by the Department for Work and Pensions. On 20 January 2012, the department published a report on ‘Nationality at point of National Insurance Number registration of DWP benefit claimants: February 2011 working age benefits’.

The Migration Advisory Committee publishes reports relating to migration for work.

Salt, J., 2012, ‘International Migration and the United Kingdom: Report of the United Kingdom SOPEMI Correspondent to the OECD’, 2013, London: Migration Research Unit.

17.2 Study

There are a range of measures that can be used to monitor those, subject to immigration control, coming to the UK to study. These include:

  • applications and issues of (entry clearance) visas, 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 for study purposes.

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.

In addition, grants of (in-country) extensions of stay for study purposes provide information on migrants in-country. Trends in extensions will depend on admissions and immigration in previous years.

Figures for immigration in this topic relate to non-EU nationals whilst other figures (visas, admissions, extensions) relate to non-EEA nationals.

The various statistics for those coming to the UK to study can appear to give different pictures of student immigration. 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, Admissions and Extensions sections of the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics include a discussion on the differences between the various data sources presented on immigration for study. The user guide also provides further details on the topics relating to study including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being estimated from samples or based on data sourced from an administrative database or from surveys.

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

Data include dependants unless stated otherwise.

IPS data for 2012 are final. All other data for 2012 and 2013 are provisional.

Figures for admissions and long-term immigration in this briefing are estimates rounded to the nearest thousand.

Statistics on students in Higher Education Institutions including analysis of overseas student numbers are available from published statistics released by The Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA), Students & qualifiers.

17.3 Family

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

  • issues of visas for entry clearance, providing information on those intending to come;
  • admissions data, providing information on migrants at the border;
  • settlement data, providing information on the number of people who are granted or refused permission to stay permanently;
  • estimates on non-EU immigration from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) on migrants intending to stay for at least a year to accompany or join someone else, including family.

In addition, grants of (in-country) extensions of stay granted to those on the ‘family route’ provide information on migrants already in the UK.

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 judgement in July 2013.

There are a number of ways that allow people to come to the UK for family reasons. The traditional ‘family route’ is made up of those coming to join or accompany family members who are British Citizens or settled people. This includes married or unmarried partners (including same-sex partners), children and elderly relatives. Others come as dependants of people who have not been granted settlement, including the family members of those working or studying in the UK and of refugees. Others come for a short time to visit family members.

Immigration figures estimated by the IPS relate to non-EU nationals, whilst other figures on visas, extensions and settlement relate to non-EEA nationals.

The various statistics for those coming to the UK for family reasons can appear to give different pictures of immigration. This can be 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. For example, the number of passengers recorded as entering the country for family reasons are much lower than the number of visas issued. The Before Entry and Settlement sections of the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics include a discussion on the differences between the various data sources presented on immigration for family reasons.

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

The user guide provides further details on the topics relating to immigration for family reasons, including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being estimated from samples or being based on data sourced from administrative databases.

All data for 2012 and 2013 are provisional (2012 IPS data are final).

Figures for non-EU immigration estimated by the IPS are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Information on numbers of non-EEA family members of EEA nationals who exercise rights to stay in the country is available in the ‘European Economic Area’ topic.

The IPS, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also provides estimates for the number of people immigrating to the UK who state that the main reason is to accompany or join someone else, including family members, and have the intention of staying for a year or more.

17.4 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.

Passengers refused entry relates to non-asylum cases dealt with at ports of entry.

The User Guide to Home Office Migration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

The student visitor category was introduced in 2007 and may include individuals previously recorded as visitors; 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.

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 and 2013 are provisional.

Information on passengers refused entry and subsequently removed are available in the ‘Removals and voluntary departures’ topic.

The Before entry section of the user guide includes a discussion on the differences between entry clearance visas and other data sources including: passenger arrivals; long-term international migration estimates of immigration published by the Office for National Statistics; and differences between appeals on visa decisions published by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.

Data on migration applications decided within published standards and the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications are published as Official Statistics by Home Office as part of their key input and impact indicators, ‘Our performance’.

17.5 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).

The User Guide to Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being estimated from samples. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

The admissions section of the user guide includes a discussion on the differences between passenger arrivals and long-term international migration estimates of immigration published by the Office for National Statistics. A comparison between passenger arrivals and entry clearance visas is provided in the before entry section.

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’.

Historical data on travel trends from 1980 to 2012 were published in ONS’s bulletin ‘Travel trends 2012’.

Data on the clearance of passengers at the border within published standards and the cost of passengers cleared at the border are published as official statistics by the Home Office as part of their key input and impact indicators, ‘Our performance’.

17.6 Asylum

Figures for ‘Other types of grant’ include: grants under family and private life rules, which relate to the introduction of a new approach to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, from 9 July 2012; Leave Outside the Rules, which was introduced for those refused asylum from 1 April 2013; and UASC leave, which was introduced for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children refused asylum but eligible for temporary leave from 1 April 2013.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) (formerly Tribunals Service Immigration and Asylum and the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT)), an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, hears and decides appeals against decisions made by the Home Office. It consists of the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber and Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (FTTIAC and UTIAC). The First-tier Tribunal Judge will decide whether the appeal against the decision is successful or not (this is known as the decision being ‘allowed’ or ‘dismissed’).

An unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC) is a person under 18, applying for asylum in his or her own right, who is separated from both parents and is not being cared for by an adult who by law has responsibility to do so.

As asylum seekers are not normally allowed to work for the first year while their application is being considered, support is available (known as Section 95 support). This may be provided as both accommodation and subsistence or subsistence only. Failed asylum seekers who are not eligible for support under Section 95, but are homeless and have reasons that temporarily prevent them from leaving, may be eligible for support (called Section 4 support).

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide. The user guide also provides a discussion on the differences between the definition of asylum applications used in this release compared to Eurostat (the European statistical organisation), as well as the definition of asylum appeals used in this release compared to asylum appeals published by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

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 and 2013 are provisional.

Numbers of asylum applicants removed are available in the ‘Removals and voluntary departures’ topic.

Appeals data published by the Ministry of Justice for HM Courts and Tribunals service are available from ‘Tribunals statistics’.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum performance framework measures and the size of the controlled archive, ‘Our performance’.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) publishes a report entitled ‘Asylum Trends in Industrialised Countries’ which includes an international comparison of the number of asylum applications.

17.7 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.

Information on the changes to the student and high value work routes from April 2011 and to the family route from July 2012 are provided in the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline. Further details are available from:

The data in this briefing include dependants, except where stated otherwise, and take account of the outcomes of reconsiderations and appeals. All figures for 2012 and 2013 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.

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database.

Data on migration applications decided within published standards, the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications and the size of the controlled archive are published as Official Statistics by the Home Office as part of their performance data. Details, including an explanation of what the controlled archive contains, are given on the Home Office website, Our performance.

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

17.8 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 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.

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database. It also includes a discussion of the differences between the grants of permission to permanently stay and long-term international migration estimates of immigration published by ONS. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics, see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

All the figures include spouses and dependants, unless stated otherwise. All data for 2012 and 2013 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 EEA 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 and the size of the controlled archive are published as Official Statistics by the Home Office as part of their immigration performance data. Details, including an explanation of what the controlled archive contains, 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 2011. For example, those originally entering the UK on a student visa comprised 13% of settlement grants in 2009 and 16% in 2011. Source: Home Office, Migrant Journey Third Report.

17.9 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 2012 and 2013 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.

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics, see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

‘Who are the UK’s new citizens?’: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) Breakfast Briefing Summary, July 2011.

Eurostat comparisons of grants of citizenship across different European countries: ‘EU Member states granted citizenship to more than 800,000 persons in 2010’ (EUROSTAT Statistics in Focus 45/2012).

The regular data on grants (acquisition) and renunciation (loss) of citizenship collected by Eurostat for all Member States is published at:

17.10 Detention

Figures presented here do not include those held in police cells, Prison Service establishments, short-term holding rooms at ports and airports (for less than 24 hours) and those recorded as detained under both criminal and immigration powers and their dependants.

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further detail on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database.

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

In December 2010, the Government announced its commitment to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes. A ‘Family Returns Process’ for managing the removal of families with no right to be in the UK began in March 2011. Integral to this process, new pre-departure accommodation located near Gatwick Airport, Cedars PDA opened in August 2011, which was specifically designed to provide a secure facility for children and their families. Whilst children are detained in Cedars PDA under Immigration Act powers, they are not held in the same conditions as previously found in adult detention facilities. The User Guide also includes information on Cedars PDA.

In March 2011 Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC was reopened, after refurbishment, predominately for families detained at the Border, whilst awaiting a decision to allow entry to the UK. Tables for detention of children now identify numbers held in Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC from 2013 onwards. The user guide also includes information on Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC which has specific conditions similar to those that apply in the Cedars PDA.

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

Data on the family returns process are published as official statistics by the Home Office as part of their immigration performance data, ‘Our performance’.

17.11 Removals and voluntary departures

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database.

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.

Other confirmed voluntary departures were previously known as “Other voluntary departures”. The name change, during 2012, is to clearly identify those departures which are confirmed by either checks at the border or after the departure; further details are available in the User Guide. As the data matching for the other confirmed voluntary departures is undertaken retrospectively this means these figures are particularly subject to greater upward revision than would be the case for other categories of departure. In light of this, the other confirmed voluntary departures for the second quarter of 2013 have been revised upwards from 3,821 to 4,828 (26% increase) and notified voluntary departures for the first six months of 2013 have been cumulatively revised from 3,018 to 3,785 (25% increase) in this quarterly release.

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

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

[t] Information on numbers of people removed upon leaving detention is available in the ‘Detention’ topic and numbers of non-asylum passengers initially refused entry at port are available in the ‘Before entry’ topic.

Data on the family returns process are published as official statistics by HO as part of their performance data, ‘Our performance’.

17.12 European Economic Area

Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania (the ‘EU2’ countries) currently have certain restrictions placed on them; other nationals of EEA countries can apply for documentation that shows that they have the right of free movement. In the first 12 months of stay, working Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are generally required to hold an accession worker card or apply for one of two lower-skilled quota schemes: the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) or Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS), unless they are exempt. Exempt Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can apply for a registration certificate, giving proof of a right to live in the UK. Further details are available in the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics. Data for 2013 relating to accession worker cards and registration certificates approved are highly provisional and likely to be revised significantly in future (based on previous experience of these data sources).

Following the accession of Croatia to the EU on 1st July 2013 similar transitional restrictions to those relating to Bulgarian and Romanians were placed on Croatians working in the UK. A link to more information on these restrictions can be found in ‘Other related data’ below and in the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics.

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 2012 and 2013 are provisional (2012 IPS data are final).

The User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics provides further details on this topic including definitions used, how figures are compiled, data quality and issues arising from figures being based on data sourced from an administrative database or from surveys. For further information on changes to immigration legislation affecting the statistics see the Policy and Legislative Changes Timeline published alongside the user guide.

EEA nationals do not require an entry clearance visa. Slightly over 460 visas were recorded as issued to EEA nationals in 2012, with 419 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 volume 1 and ‘Before entry’ data tables volume 2 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 91 in 2012. Half of these applicants were Polish nationals (43). In the year ending September 2013, a number of EEA nationals (2,094 enforced removals, 843 refused entry at port and subsequently departed and 213 voluntary departures) were removed or departed voluntarily. European legislation generally sets higher thresholds for deporting EEA nationals than exist for other foreign nationals.

Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Transitional arrangements, ‘Croatian nationals’, were introduced to restrict Croatian nationals’ access to the UK labour market.

The Home Office, ‘Migration: Bulgarian and Romanian workers’ has previously indicated that restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians will continue until the end of 2013.

The Migration Advisory Committee report ‘Migrant Seasonal Workers’, includes detailed analysis of the SBS and SAWS schemes.