UK immigration outweighs emigration

25 Feb 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The latest figures show that more people entered the UK than left the country in 2010.

UK immigration outweighed emigration from Britain during 2010, the latest figures have revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net migration rose by 35 per cent over the course of the year. UK immigration was estimated at 572,000 people entering the country on a long-term basis in the year to June 2010, while an estimated 346,000 emigrated during the same period of time.

The UK immigration figures have largely remained the same since 2004, ONS noted. However, the number of people emigrating from the country on a long-term basis has been in decline since December 2008 when emigration was estimated at 427,000.

The figures come ahead of the implementation of changes to UK immigration policy that are designed to reduce UK immigration to the tens of thousands.

The issuing of UK visas and work permits is to be reduced from April this year, with students expected to take the brunt of changes.

Damian Green, the UK's immigration minister, commented: "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."

UK work permits will be capped at 21,700 on an annual basis, split into monthly allocations. The vast majority of these will be allotted to Tier 2 workers, with just 1,000 reserved for a new 'exceptional' immigration route.

Meanwhile, the government has recently closed its consultation regarding student immigration. Mr Green has suggested that control over this UK immigration route needs to be tightened up to prevent the abuse of the system.