Rise in UK net migration driven by increase in non-EU nationals arriving to study | UK News

Rise in UK net migration driven by increase in non-EU nationals arriving to study | UK News

Net migration in the UK was around 313,000 in the year to March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. 

This is up on 221,000 from the previous year and has been driven by an increase in non-EU nationals arriving in the UK to study.

The latest figures show net migration has risen to its highest level since March 2016, when net migration was an estimated 326,000.

In the 12-month period around 715,000 people moved to the UK and around 403,000 people left the country, a report published on Thursday said.

Of those coming to the UK, 257,000 were arriving for study, with 458,000 arriving for work, family or other reasons.

Jay Lindop, director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, said: “Our best estimate of net migration, using all available data sources, is 313,000 for the year ending March 2020.

“After a period of stability, we were seeing migration levels begin to increase in the past 12 months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This was being driven by increases in non-EU student arrivals, mainly from China and India.”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Immigration and border control signs at Edinburgh Airport on February 10, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. A recent survey has shown that Scottish people have a more open attitude to immigration than people in England and Wales, according to a poll today for Oxford Universitys Migration Observatory. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Low-skilled to be denied visas

He added the figures, to the end of March, “do not take into account the significant impact the pandemic has had on international migration since then”.

Separate Home Office figures show passenger arrivals down 29% in the latest quarter to June, with a similar drop in visas being granted.

This is partly driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – which has contributed to a 97% reduction in passenger journeys compared to the same quarter last year.

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