The Home Office and the Office for National Statistics recently released very interesting figures to give us the current status of migration into and out of the UK.

One of the key interesting summaries of these figures is that since the referendum, there has been a sharp increase in the number of EU citizens that are already living in the UK but opting for British citizenship. The figures also tells us that there has been more people departing the UK and fewer arriving. So what else does this tell us:

Changing Landscape?

The number of EU citizens who are coming to the UK, to live, is falling. This drop in the year to September 2017 is an estimated 18% lower than the year before. In addition, the amount of people leaving the UK is an increase of 27% year on year. The difference between those leaving the UK and entering the UK is now back at the level it was in 2012 with the difference being about 90,000 people. That’s about the same capacity at Wembley!

It is difficult to know what the key factor for this figure is, but one could assume Brexit.

Interestingly, individuals from outside the EU coming to the UK has increased beyond what the government target was. This is estimated to be an increase by 200 000 individuals.

As a result of the figures the overall net migration is stable running at about 250 000 additions a year.

What about EU applications?

These figures are falling. However the number of applications is still well above the pre-Brexit average. For example the number of applicants applying for permanent resident is currently at 33 000 documents and cards for permanent residence was issued in the final quarter of 2017. Believe it or not the figures used to be 4,000 to 5,000 a quarter.

At the same time the amount of people applying for British citizenship is falling. However, possibly due to Brexit, the number of individuals who are applying for British citizenship from EU Nationals is increasing. This is currently making up about a third of the total. Last year almost 32,000 former EU Nationals became British which is almost twice as many in any previous years.

Removals and Departures

The figures also show us that despite enforcement activity increasing in severity it is not having an increase in the amount of individuals who are being removed or agreeing to voluntarily depart from the UK. In fact the reverse has occurred and in 2017 there were 12,300 enforced removals whilst in comparison to 2014 there were 14,400. This is a fall of 15% in 3 years. In the same period those voluntarily leaving the UK fell 27%.

The figures to the end of 2017 also show that the number of people in detention centres which is 2,545 is also falling to the lowest number to 2011. This figures did include 42 children whilst in 2009 there were over 1,000.00.


Even though net migration is stable people are still concerned about their status. At Lupton Fawcett we can assist to ease those concerns and take you through the entire process of immigration from start to finish.

For further information relating to the points raised in this article, please contact Arif Khalfe, Partner in the Disputes Management and Immigration Departments.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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