UK immigration figures released

25 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The latest UK immigration figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed an increase in the number of people moving to Britain.

The increase comes as the coalition government is working towards significantly reducing the number of people issued with UK visas and work permits.

However, from the data it appears that the increase is predominantly due to a disparity between the number of people leaving and the number of people arriving in Britain, rather than a substantial increase in the numbers arriving. Indeed, 239,000 more people arrived than those who left, pushing net migration up by 21 per cent.

The ONS report also confirmed that study remained the most common reason for applying for a UK visa to migrate to the country, with just over three-quarters of the 228,000 students arriving in the country identified as citizens from outside of the European Union.

But the number of people moving to Britain for work has continued to fall since its peak of 168,000 in 2008. The data showed that just 110,000 people moved to the UK for a definite job.

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of think tank Migration Watch, commented on the news that UK immigration has continued to rise: "These figures lay bare the legacy of the Labour government with immigration last year close to a quarter of a million, the second highest ever.

"The coalition government will have to face down some vested interests if they are to get anywhere near their target of tens of thousands."