More people use EU Citizen route to settle in UK

20 Jul 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Higher numbers of people are settling in the UK after first securing EU citizenship in other member states.

New figures from the Migration Observatory at Oxford University show that 264,000 people born in non-EU countries are now living in the UK after receiving EU citizenship in other countries. EU citizenship gives free movement rights within Europe and allows people to settle in the UK.

The number of people using this route to live in the UK has rocketed from 78,000 in 2004 – a 238 per cent increase in 11 years.

People using this route to settle in the UK were most likely to live in Portugal first, where 54,000 of those in the study received their EU citizenship. Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands were the next most popular countries to live in among those who later migrated to the UK.

People using this route were most likely to have been born in India, which accounted for 24,000 people now living in the UK, followed by South Africa, North America, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.

The Migration Observatory’s researchers analysed statistics in the Labour Force Survey. The breakdown showed the average age of those coming to the UK using this method was 38 and that almost three-quarters (73 per cent) were employed. Some 30 per cent were working in management or professional roles - ahead of the 22 per cent EU citizen average.

Madeleine Sumption from the Migration Observatory told the Daily Telegraph: “EU migrants who were born outside the EU are a small share of the UK’s migrant population, but they have distinctive characteristics.

“Interestingly, they have been more successful in finding high-skilled work than people born in the EU. British citizens can live and work in other EU countries, whether they were born in the UK or not. Citizens of other EU countries have the same rights in the UK.”