New immigrant arrival numbers to the UK are continuing to decline, according to new figures announced yesterday.
The new figures, produced by the Office of National Statistics, show that between September 2011 and September 2012, 500,000 new migrants arrived to live in the country – an 81,000 person decline on the number who arrived in the same period the previous year.
The number of people coming into the UK from New Commonwealth countries such as Botswana, Kenya and Malawi and Indian subcontinent countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan fell by 66 per cent compared to the year before, while the number of people arriving from the eight Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 was also down by 22 per cent.
Education remains the most common reason people have for wanting to move to the UK, with 190,000 people arriving to study. While this figure was down by 56,000 from the previous year, the number of international students attending Britain’s top tier universities actually increased.
Given the UK coalition government’s pledge to significantly reduce immigration, the new figures were warmly welcomed by the country’s Immigration Minister Mark Harper.
“Today’s statistics show another significant fall in net migration – down by more than a third since June 2010. This has been driven in the most recent period by a decline in the number of people coming to the UK, as stated by the independent Office for National Statistics,” the Minister said.
“The figures show we have cut out abuse while encouraging the brightest and best migrants who contribute to economic growth, with a 5 per cent increase in the number of sponsored student visa applications for our world-class universities, and a 5 per cent increase in the number of visas issued to skilled workers.
“We have made substantial inroads in cutting immigration and now have a more selective system that works in our national interest. Looking forward, our Immigration Bill will reduce the pull factors to this country and make it easier to remove people with no right to be here.”