This release presents the latest immigration statistics from Home Office administrative sources, covering quarter 4, October to December 2012.
(All data relate to 2012; comparisons are with 2011 unless indicated.)
Work, study and family-related immigration of non-EEA nationals continued to fall in 2012. There were further falls in visas issued and admissions for study, work and family reasons, and also fewer extensions of stay and fewer permissions to stay permanently (settlement). The recent falls for work and study are likely in part to be due to policy changes relating to these reasons for entry, which came into effect in 2011.
There was a 3% fall in work-related visas issued (to 145,138) largely relating to very highly skilled workers and an 11% fall in grants of permission to stay permanently (to 62,204). However, there was a 5% increase in grants of extensions of stay (to 141,007).
There were 22% fewer sponsored student visa applications, with a 3% increase for the university sector, contrasting with falls for the further education sector (-62%), English language schools (-69%), and independent schools (-14%). There was a corresponding 20% (-52,066) fall in student visas issued mainly relating to falls for Indian (-17,604) and Pakistan (-24,668) nationals, although there was an increase for Chinese nationals (+4,856).
There were 507,701 visas issued (excluding visitor and transit visas), a fall of 10% and the lowest annual recorded figure using comparable data available from 2005.
There were 21,785 asylum applications, a rise of 10%, driven by rises in the latter half of 2012 and by particular nationalities, including Pakistan (+844), Syria (+637), India (+531), Bangladesh (+437) and Albania (+419). However, this remains well below the peak in 2002 (84,132).
There was a 9% increase in people granted British citizenship in 2012 (to 194,344), largely accounted for by grants on the basis of residence (up 13% to 107,196, the highest number since records began in 1962) or on the basis of marriage (up 10% to 39,138).
During the fourth quarter of 2012, 61 children entered detention, higher than the fourth quarter of 2011 (45) but well below the third quarter of 2009 (322); the recent rise reflects greater use of Cedars pre-departure accommodation which opened in August 2011 in conjunction with the new ‘Family Returns Process’.
Removals and voluntary departures
There were 4% fewer enforced removals (to 14,435), and 14% fewer passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed (to 13,529). There was a 2% fall in voluntary departures (to 25,997).
For additional summary points see the full summary in the Statistical News Release).
Listing of the data tables included in Immigration Statistics October to December 2012
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