National Statistics

Settlement

Published 1 December 2016

Valid: 01 December 2016 to 22 February 2017

Data relate to the year ending September 2016 and all comparisons are with the year ending September 2015, unless indicated otherwise.

Back to ‘Immigration statistics July to September 2016’ content page.

1. Key facts

There were 61,664 people granted permission to stay permanently in the year ending September 2016, 38% fewer (-37,366) than the previous year. The decrease was largely accounted for by falls in family (-15,039), work (-14,057) and asylum-related (-6,176) grants. The number of grants is low relative to the peak number of grants in the year ending September 2010 (241,586), and similar to levels seen in 1996 (61,730).

Work-related grants to stay permanently fell by 34% to 27,205 (-14,057) in the year ending September 2016. There were falls in grants to Tier 1 High Value individuals (by 6,626 to 13,221) and in the Tier 2 Skilled Work category (by 6,511 to 10,366).

Family-related grants to stay permanently fell by over two-thirds to 7,420 (-15,039) in the year ending September 2016. There were notable decreases in grants to wives (by 8,645 to 4,124), husbands (by 4,712 to 1,765) and children (by 1,527 to 1,397). This may partly reflect changes to the rules in July 2012 on how quickly partners qualify for settlement and the number of visas and extensions granted in previous years. Details of the July 2012 rule changes are included in the Family section of the user guide.

Asylum-related grants to stay permanently fell by 32% to 13,230 in the year ending September 2016, similar to the level seen in the year ending March 2012 (13,263) and significantly lower than the peak in 2005 of 67,810.

Dependants of European Economic Area (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. In the year to September 2016, 37,638 grants of documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards were made. This is the highest recorded annual figure and more than twice (+18,925 or 101%) the figure for the year to September 2015. Further information is given in the Family topic.

These year-on-year comparisons of decisions numbers can be affected by changes in case-work resource allocation. Such fluctuations can be examined in more detail in the quarterly data that are also available in the published tables.

2. Grants to stay permanently by reason, and refusals

Year Total decisions Total grants Work Asylum Family Other Refusals
Year ending September 2012 138,749 134,532 65,303 11,958 46,826 10,445 4,217
Year ending September 2013 160,030 153,654 60,687 21,393 59,277 12,297 6,376
Year ending September 2014 118,293 112,391 42,364 17,199 37,956 14,872 5,902
Year ending September 2015 103,545 99,030 41,262 19,406 22,459 15,903 4,515
Year ending September 2016 67,847 61,664 27,205 13,230 7,420 13,809 6,183
Change: latest 12 months -35,698 -37,366 -14,057 -6,176 -15,039 -2,094 +1,668
Percentage change -34% -38% -34% -32% -67% -13% +37%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July to September 2016, Settlement table se 02 q.

The chart below illustrates longer-term trends in grants to stay permanently for the calendar years back to 2004.

The chart shows the number of people granted settlement by calendar year from 2004. The data are available in Table se 02.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July to September 2016, Settlement table se 02.

4. Nationalities granted permission to stay permanently

Of the total 90,839 grants of permission to stay permanently in 2015, over two-fifths (41% or 37,107) were to nationals of South Asia and nearly a quarter (23% or 20,927) were to nationals of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Top 5 nationalities granted permission to stay permanently, 2015

(Total number of grants: 90,839, includes dependants)

The chart shows grants of settlement by nationality in 2015. These top 5 nationalities accounted for almost half (47%) of total grants in 2015. The chart is based on data in Table se 03.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July to September 2016, Settlement table se 03.

5. Data tables

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

6. Background information

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

From 2003 onwards, dependants of European Economic Area (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 tables ee 02 and ee 02 q in the Family topic.

The numbers of applications and decisions about permission to stay permanently 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 stay permanently. The availability and allocation of resources within the Home Office can also affect the number of decisions.

6.1 Migration transparency data webpage

A range of key input and impact indicators are currently published by the Home Office on the Migration transparency data webpage.

6.2 Staying in the UK

In February 2016, the Home Office published its ‘Migrant journey: sixth report’, which shows how non-EEA migrants change their immigration status or achieve settlement in the UK.