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Stevens Machi Solicitors

The latest immigration and visa law news, blogs and announcements from Stevens Machi.

Net Migration Figures Remain High

The latest migration figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that net migration stood at 335,000 in the YE June 2016.

Migration Figures

The figures also show that:

  • Work remains the most common reason for long-term immigration at 311,000 (the highest estimate recorded), compared with 294,000 in YE June 2015; of these, 182,000 had a definite job to go to and 130,000 arrived looking for work (a statistically significant increase from 107,000 the previous year).
  • There were 629,000 National Insurance number (NINo) registrations by EU nationals and 195,000 by non-EU nationals in YE September 2016.
  • The number of people immigrating for more than 12 months to study was estimated to be 163,000 in total in YE June 2016, a statistically significant reduction of 30,000 from 193,000 in YE June 2015. There were 167,208 non-EU university-sponsored study visa applications in YE September 2016 (down 1% compared with the previous year).
  • There were 41,280 asylum applications (including dependants) in YE September 2016, the sixth successive annual increase (although the number is less than half the level of the peak in 2002 (103,081)). Applications were lower compared with YE June 2016 (44,323) reflecting a decline in applications for the third quarter of 2016 as compared with the third quarter of 2015 (from 12,311 to 9,268).
  • In addition, 4,162 people were granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme in the YE September 2016 (4,414 since the scheme began in January 2014).

Impact of Brexit

“These long-term international migration figures run to the end of June, so it is too early to say what effect, if any, the EU Referendum has had on long-term international migration,” said Nicola White, Head of International Migration Statistics at the ONS. “There does not however appear to have been any significant impact during the run-up to the vote."

Permanent Residence Applications

One key area of the statistics highlighted by many commentators is the grants of permanent residence to EEA citizens and their family members, which have apparently doubled over the past year.

There were 37,600 grants of permanent residence in the year ending September 2016, compared to 18,700 the previous year. Grants in the third quarter alone totalled 14,500, up from 4,000 in the same quarter of 2015.

According to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, this number can be expected to increase much more in the coming months and years as there are currently more than 3.5 million EU residents in the UK.

“The increase in permanent residence grants suggests that EU citizens are increasingly keen to nail down a secure legal status in the wake of the referendum vote,” commented Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory. “But these figures are really just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of EU citizens living in the UK have not yet applied. Finding a process that will allow EU citizens to receive residence documents quickly and efficiently will be one of the major challenges the Home Office faces as it prepares for Brexit.”

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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