UK immigration increases by 22%

Published on Thursday, 24 February 2011 15:32
Posted by Scott Buckler

The number of foreign migrants settling in the UK rose by 22% last year, Office for National Statistics figures show


A total of 237,890 people were granted settlement in the UK in 2010, compared with 194,780 in the previous year - close to record levels. The number leaving the UK also fell to 57,085, the lowest in five years. The government wants a cap to limit non-EU immigration, a plan Labour sees as "the worst of all worlds".The ONS figures show that of the migrants granted settlement, the number of asylum-related cases went up to 5,125, compared with 3,110 in 2009.

The number of work-related cases was also up, rising 4% to 84,370 compared with 81,185 the previous year.The number of foreign nationals given UK passports was down 4% to 195,130, but the figure remained higher than that seen in the years 2005 to 2007, the ONS said.

A total of 334,815 student visas were issued last year, down 2% on 2009, and asylum applications were down by more than a quarter to 17,790 last year, compared with 24,485 in 2009. This is the lowest level of asylum applications since 1989.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:

"These statistics reinforce once again why we are radically reforming the immigration system to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament."

Separate figures, published for the first time by the ONS, suggest 2009's economic slowdown had a dramatic impact on the number of people coming to England and Wales to work for less than 12 months.

An estimated 97,000 overseas residents visited the UK for short-term work-related purposes in the year to mid-2009, down from 162,000 the previous year - a reduction of 40%.

There was also a 33% drop in short-term work-related migration from Poland to England and Wales in 2009, the figures suggest.

Source: ©BBC News

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