The UK’s net migration figure has reached a record high, despite the Government toughening up many of the routes to securing a UK visa as it tries to bring down the figure.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the net migration figure stood at approximately 336,000 in the 12 months to June. The total shows the difference between the number of people entering and leaving the UK.
According to the ONS, most people who arrived in Britain during the year to June came to the UK for employment purposes or to study. Of the estimated 336,000, some 294,000 came to the UK to work and two-thirds of these already had a job to go to.
The number of people arriving in the UK from outside the European Union, and so requiring a UK visa, rose by 36,000 to 201,000. There was also an increase in the number of EU citizens coming to the UK of 42,000 to 180,000.
Over the 12-month period, some 50,000 Bulgarians and Romanians arrived in Britain. The number was 19,000 higher than the previous year and reflects the fact that restrictions on free EU migration for the two countries were removed in January 2014. Overall, six per cent of the UK immigration recorded in the period was from Romania, putting in the country into the top five locations for people coming to Britain.
Meanwhile, the ONS said that two million people from EU nations were working in the UK during the three months to September, a rise of 324,000 on the same period 12 months earlier.
The Government said that the latest official figures showed it would be a challenge to bring net migration down to “sustainable levels”. It is aiming to reduce the number to five figures by the end of the decade.