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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2019/summary-of-latest-statistics
1. How many people come to the UK each year (including visitors)?
There were an estimated 145 million passenger arrivals in the year ending September 2019 (including returning UK residents), a 3% increase compared to the previous year and the highest number on record.
There were 3.1 million visas granted in the year ending September 2019, a 9% increase compared with the previous year, continuing the upward trend seen over the last decade. Only certain nationalities are required to obtain an Entry clearance visa before coming to the UK, which is why there were considerably more passenger arrivals than visas granted.
For further details see ʻHow many people come to the UK each year (including visitors)?’ and the data tables.
2. Why do people come to the UK?
There were 189,459 work-related visas granted in the year ending September 2019, 11% higher than the previous year, and the highest level since the year ending 31 March 2008, around the time when a new immigration system (also known as ‘the points-based system’ (PBS)) was first introduced.
The majority (64%) of the increase in the latest year was driven by Skilled (Tier 2) work visas, which increased by 12% to 111,035. The Skilled (Tier 2) category accounts for 59% of work-related visas granted.
There was also an increase in Youth mobility and temporary worker (Tier 5) visas granted, up 7% to 43,636; an increase in the High value (Tier 1) category, up 14% to 5,817; and an increase in non-PBS work categories, up 10% to 28,971.
In the year ending September 2019, there were 276,889 Sponsored study (Tier 4) visas granted (including dependants), a 16% increase of 37,510 more than the previous year, and the highest level since 2011. Chinese and Indian nationals together account for over half of all Tier 4 visas granted (43% and 11% respectively).
The majority (86%) of those applying to come to the UK on a Sponsored study visa apply to study at higher education (university) institutions. In the year ending September 2019, Sponsored study visa applications for the higher education (university) sector increased by 14% to 222,047, the highest level on record.
There were 180,257 visas granted for all family reasons in the year ending September 2019, 23% more than in the previous year.
There was a large increase in EEA family permits granted (up 43% to 47,027), as well as increases in family-related visas granted (up 19% to 52,802) and dependants of people coming to the UK on other types of visas (up 11% to 77,762).
For further details see ʻWhy do people come to the UK? For family reasons’ and the data tables.
3. How many people do we grant asylum or protection to?
The UK offered protection – in the form of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement – to 19,480 people in the year ending September 2019 (up 28% compared with the previous year). This was the highest number of people granted protection in the UK in a single year since the year ending September 2003.
The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) accounted for just over three-quarters (4,291) of those resettled in the UK in the year ending September 2019. Since it began in 2014, 18,252 people (mainly Syrian nationals) have been resettled under the scheme.
There were 34,354 asylum applications in the UK (main applicants only) in the year ending September 2019, 22% more than the previous year and the highest level since the year ending 30 June 2016, around the time of the European migration crisis.
In the year ending September 2019, 48% of initial decisions on asylum applications were grants of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave (such as discretionary leave or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) leave), compared with 30% in the previous year.
For further details see ʻHow many people do we grant asylum or protection to?’ and the data tables.
4. How many people continue their stay in the UK?
4.1 Extension of temporary stay in the UK
There were 283,079 grants of extension of stay in the year ending September 2019, a 17% increase on the previous year.
There were 91,023 decisions on applications for settlement in the UK from non-EEA nationals in the year ending September 2019, similar to the previous year. Of these, 87,441 (96%) resulted in a grant.
4.3 EEA nationals and their family members
In the year ending September 2019, there were 80,442 registration certificates and registration cards issued to non-EEA family members, down 6% on the previous year. This followed the large increases seen in the period immediately following the referendum on membership of the EU in June 2016. The current level remains higher than before the referendum.
There were 74,541 documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards issued in the year ending September 2019, 27% fewer than the previous year (down 27,127).
There were 179,380 applications for British citizenship in the year ending September 2019, 18% more than the previous year.
In the last 12 months, applications for citizenship by EU nationals increased by 22% to 53,917. Applications made by non-EU nationals increased by 17% in the most recent year to 125,463, following falls in the previous 2 years.
5. How many people are detained or returned?
5.1 Immigration detention
The number of people entering detention fell by 3% to 24,441 in the year ending September 2019. This was similar to levels seen in 2009 and continues the downward trend since 2015.
As at 30 September 2019 there were 1,826 people in detention, 11% fewer than on 30 September 2018, and around half the number as at 30 September 2017.
In the year ending September 2019, 24,575 people left the detention estate (down 7%), a similar number to those entering detention. Almost two-fifths (39%) of those leaving detention were detained for 7 days or less, with 73% detained for 28 days or less. Two per cent of detainees were detained for more than 6 months.
Enforced returns from the UK fell to 7,624 in the year ending September 2019, the lowest number since records began in 2004 and 25% lower than the previous year.
Additionally, there were 12,295 voluntary departures in the year ending September 2019 (although this figure is subject to upward revision), and 18,629 passengers refused entry at port and subsequently departed (similar levels to the previous year).
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