UK immigration remains steady

23 Feb 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The net migration figures for the UK held stead in the year to June 2011, the latest Office for National Statistics figures have revealed.

The data showed that net migration stood at 250,000 for the year, despite the government's promise that it will reduce UK immigration. Indeed, it has pledged to reduce the net migration figures by 2015 and has a long-term goal of lowering immigration to the "tens of thousands".

Commenting on the latest information, UK immigration minister Damian Green said: "Our reforms are starting to take effect. Home Office figures from the second half of last year show a significant decrease in the number of student and work visas issued, an early indicator for the long term direction of net migration."

However, he conceded that net migration "remains too high" and stated that the government is still committed to lowering the number.

Meanwhile, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, called the figures "disappointing".

He called for the student visa system to receive more attention and suggested more effective testing on whether or not UK visa applicants to through this route were genuine.

Two-thirds of long-term immigration of New Commonwealth citizens were accounted for by students, suggesting that this is still one of the most popular routes to living in Britain.