The latest statistical bulletin produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on immigration is a very telling document.
In its latest publication the ONS has observed that:
- In the year to September 2010 the overall number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study was 522,495, an increase of 9 per cent on 479,635 in the year to September 2009
- The latest figures show that in the year to December 2010 the total number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study was 501,475, similar to the levels in the year to December 2009 (503,540)
- In the year to December 2010 a total of 166,660 work-related visas were issued, an increase of 3 per cent on 162,450 in the year to December 2009
- The number of visas issued for the purposes of study was 334,815 in 2010, a fall of 2 per cent on 341,090 in 2009 (this will drop more with the plan to scrap or curtail the PSW visa)
Moreover, from the bulletin it is apparent that nationals from the A8 countries (which are 40 per cent poorer than the rest of the EU) are choosing the UK as the country where they want to work. The ONS bulletin, which is available here, states that:
- In the year to December 2010 the number of A8 nationals successfully applying to work as an employee in the UK via the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) was 117,000, an increase of 7 per cent on the year to December 2009 (109,000)
The ONS said the total number of entry clearance visas for working and studying to the year ending December 2010 stood at 501,475 which is not far off from the levels in the year to December 2009 (503,540).
Of the total visas granted for the year ending December 2010 the following trends were observable:
Of the visas issued in the year to December 2010, a total of 166,660 were work- related. This was an increase of 3 per cent on 162,450 in 2009. The visas were awarded in the following subcategories:
- 32,970 Tier 1 (highly skilled workers) visas or equivalents
- 68,210 Tier 2 (skilled workers) visas or equivalents
- 37,820 temporary visas under Tier 5 (youth mobility and temporary workers) or equivalent
- 6,745 pre-PBS visas that cannot be allocated to a tier
- 20,915 work-related visas not covered by the PBS
Settlement, Employment, Removals etc
When the ONS compared the calendar years 2009 and 2010 it found that the number of people granted settlement in the UK rose by 22 per cent from 194,780 to 237,890.
Moreover, according to the ONS there employment-related visa grants increased (up 4 per cent to 84,370), asylum-related grants rose very significantly (up 65 per cent to 5,125) and grants of discretionary leave increased even more massively (more than doubled to 83,090). Family formation and reunion grants fell by 10 per cent to 65,310.
However, the ONS noted that the number of applications for asylum, excluding dependants, was 4 per cent lower in Q4 2010 (4,630) compared with Q4 2009 (4,840).
On the subject of removals and the control of immigration the OSN explained that:
In the fourth quarter of 2010, a total of 13,225 people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK, 21 per cent lower than in Q4 2009 (16,785). Within this total there were 2,150 people (including dependants) who had claimed asylum (22 per cent lower than in Q4 2009) and 11,080 non-asylum cases (21 per cent lower than in Q4 2009)