UK Migration Decline

UK Migration Decline

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

UK Migration DeclineUK Migration Decline


The United Kingdom has experienced a significant reduction in the number of foreign workers and students arriving, dropping nearly 30% this year, according to new Home Office data. The decline from 121,000 to 85,200 in the first five months of this year aligns with the goals of both the Conservative and Labour parties to reduce net migration.


This decrease is the largest since the pandemic, with skilled workers, students, and health and care visa holders making up the majority of those migrating to the UK. Last year, these groups, along with their dependents, accounted for 1.13 million visas issued.


The Telegraph attributes the drop to government measures such as restrictions on bringing dependents, higher salary thresholds for skilled workers, and tighter controls on shortage occupation visa schemes.


Net migration for the year ending December 2023 stands at 685,000, down from a record high of 764,000 the previous year. The Conservative government aims to cut immigration by 300,000, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledging to halve migration and continue reducing it if re-elected.


Home Secretary James Cleverly credits the decline to his policies, stating, “I took action to drive down legal migration. Data released this week show visa applications have dropped 30 per cent amongst key routes. Labour opposed these actions at every opportunity. If you want to reduce migration, vote Conservative on 4th July,” he said in a tweet on his X handle.


Labour’s manifesto also promises to reduce net migration but without specifying a target or timeline. The party proposes linking training to immigration, requiring sectors applying for foreign worker visas to train British citizens first.


Migration Advisory Committee chairman Prof Brian Bell believes the Prime Minister has a “fighting chance” of reducing net migration to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.


The figures show a notable drop in visa applications, with a 25.4% overall decrease in visas for foreign workers, students, and their dependents. The number of dependents brought by students fell by nearly 80%, and health and care worker visa applications decreased by 75.6%.


This trend emerges as immigration policy becomes a critical issue in the upcoming July 4 election campaigns of both major parties.


UK Migration Decline

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