Net migration to the UK went down by a quarter (25%) over the last year, meanwhile the number of people leaving the country increased.
The Home Office declared that this year saw the most significant fall in net migration since 2008, and it was driven by significant reductions in the number of people coming to study and work in the UK.
According to officials the reduction was largely driven by fewer foreign students coming to the UK to study; however the Immigration Minister stated that the fall wasn’t just from reduction in students, but also for those coming in to work, because the new measures have been implemented in order to ensure that only skilled workers are coming to the UK.
According to the Home Office the falls were “in visas issued for work, study and family reasons, and also fewer extensions of stay and fewer permissions to stay permanently (settlement).”
Those opposing the reforms are concerned that the reduction in foreign students coming to the UK to study will result in a loss of talent and could negatively affect the economy.
Sarah Mulley of the Institute of Public Policy Research said that “The irony is that the impacts on net migration will only be short lived because most students stay only for a short time. Reduced immigration today means reduced emigration in a year or two’s time, which could see net migration rise again.”