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UK Migration Numbers Reach All-Time Record in 2022

“Unprecedented” world events have contributed to significant levels of long-term migration to the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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Significant Increases in Migration Numbers

In a new report published by the ONS, record levels of migration from non-EU countries have been recorded in the year ending June 2020 to June 2022.

Numerous significant world events have been attributed to this rise, including the recovery of travel numbers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, those coming for humanitarian protection, and those arriving under new immigration routes.

New routes into the UK have included Afghans looking for resettlement, Ukrainians fleeing from the war, and those with Hong Kong British nationals (Overseas) visas.

The total figure of long-term migration in this period is estimated to have been around 1.1 million. After subtracting emigration numbers from the UK, the UK population has risen by 504,000 in total.

Students Driving Migration Numbers

Of all the different categories of migrants who came to the UK in the same period, those on study visas made up the largest proportion of non-EU nationals moving to the UK, estimated at around 39%.

This was a figure of around 277,000, an increase from 143,000 in the year ending 2021.

This is reflective of historic data showing that students are usually a very mobile population internationally. Additionally, the introduction of the new Graduate visa, which also allows graduates to stay and work in the UK for up to 3 years after their course, may have also been an influence.

Migration from EU countries, however, has been shown to continue declining.

Government Responses

The new statistics have come after the Conservative government’s promise to crack down on migration numbers.

The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has previously stated that she wishes to cut net migration down to “tens of thousands”, which is a goal that was previously abandoned under Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Meanwhile, the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, pointed towards “real evidence of Conservative mismanagement of both the asylum and immigration systems”.

The number of asylum-seeking migrants crossing the Channel continues to rise to record levels.

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