Report: Migration trends (from Chapter 2, International migration to the UK):
In 2007 an estimated total of 340,000 people emigrated from the UK and an estimated 577,000 people arrived to live in the UK for at least a year, meaning that total net migration into the UK was 237,000. This was an increase of 46,000 from 2006, but below the record estimate of 244,000 in 2004. 34 per cent of the total (197,000) were from the 27 EU member states.
The 2007 International Passenger Survey shows that, of the reasons for migration, having a definite job was the most cited (with approximately 30 per cent of inflow reporting this), followed by formal study (26 per cent), accompanying or joining a relative (15 per cent) and looking for work (12 per cent).
The number of A8 nationals (nationals of the 2004 EU accession states) approved on the Worker Registration Scheme totalled 227,875 in 2006, three quarters of whom (162,495) were Polish. Since 2006 the number of A8 nationals on the Scheme has fallen. The latest Home Office Control of Immigration quarterly statistical summary shows that the number of approved applicants making initial applications in Q1 2009 (21,000) was less than half that of Q1 2008 (47,000). This compares to 50,000 in Q1 2007. It states that “the decrease is mainly explained by the fall in approved Polish national applicants, which fell to 12,000 in Q1 2009 from 32,000 in Q1 2008 and 36,000 in Q1 2007″. However, an estimate from the UK Statistics Authority, using data from the Labour Force Survey, suggests that the number of EU nationals working in the UK was at or near its highest level in the first quarter of 2009. The number of such workers has risen significantly since the accession of the A8 countries in 2004.
Approved applications for accession worker cards from Bulgarian and Romanian nationals wishing to take up employment in the UK fell by 33 per cent in the last year, from 645 in Q1 2008 to 435 in Q1 2009. This compares to the higher number of 840 in Q1 2007. Operators of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme (SAWS)-restricted to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals-issued a total of 6,770 SAWS work cards in Q1 2009, slightly down on the 6,865 issued in Q1 2008.
Nationals of every non-EEA country wishing to come to the UK for over 6 months or to work require a visa. The latest available figures show that, in 2007/08, the UK received 1.27 million visit applications, 459,000 family visit applications, 344,000 student applications, and 89,000 work permit applications (not including working holidaymakers). The main categories in which applications decreased in 2007/08 were settlement and working holidaymakers (both down 16 per cent). Applications increased for work permits (up 12 per cent) and students (up 9 per cent). The overall refusal rate was 18 per cent, down 1 per cent on 2006/07. The Labour Force Survey estimates that the number of non-EU nationals in employment in the UK has more than doubled since 1997, and in the first quarter of 2009 stood at approximately 1.2 million workers out of a total workforce in the UK of 27.8 million.
Source Docuticker and Home Affairs Committee.
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