Applications for UK visas continue to soar in a time of uncertainty caused by Brexit and changes to the UK work permit scheme. According to recent reports released at the end of May, migrants are still adding to the UK population in huge numbers.
Official immigration UK figures show that the country has once again missed its target to reduce net migration to tens of thousands. This is the 37th time in a row that the UK has failed to make any significant difference to migrant figures.
The most recent official migration figures to arrive for 2019 found that more people moved into the country with the appropriate UK Visas in 2018 than left. 602,000 people arrived in Britain, compared to only 343,000 people emigrating overseas. Deeper research into the Office for National Statistics did find, however, that the number of EU citizens applying for a UK work permit has fallen since 2016. However, the number of work visas overall has increased by 11%, with the number of tier 2 work visas growing by 15%.
Currently, the number of EU migrants in the country is at its lowest rate since 2013, with around 201,000 people from the EU arriving in the country, and 127,000 leaving. The statistics also show, however, that overall non-EU migration has increased over the last five years.
The numbers draw into question the effectiveness of Brexit when it comes to addressing the arguments of pro-Leavers, who wanted to take back control of the British borders. The growth in net migration has been driven by non-EU settlers, which is an issue that the UK already had the option to control.
Experts on UK visas and migration have drawn attention to the fact that these figures will be the last that Theresa May reveals as prime minister and home secretary.
Unfortunately for those who voted for a reduction in net migration, the promise made regarding immigration UK numbers seems to be one that the government simply couldn't keep.