Great Britain

Number of people migrating to Britain from outside the EU hits highest level ever

THE NUMBER of people migrating to Britain from outside the EU has soared to its highest ever level.

A quarter of a million international migrants moved to Britain from non-EU countries in the last year, new figures released today revealed.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of people arriving in the UK has peaked in the year to September 2019.

Meanwhile, net migration numbers from non-EU countries - the number of people coming into the country compared to those leaving - have reached the highest point since 2004.

Around 379,000 people moved to the UK from overseas non-EU countries in the year ending September 2019, while 129,000 people left the country, with total net migration numbers reaching 250,000.

The number of non-EU arrivals is up from 325,000 the year before.

Arrivals of migrants from the EU, however, have hit their lowest levels since before the Brexit vote.

Only 64,000 more people from Europe moved to the UK than left.

That's compared to around 200,000 in late 2015 and early 2016.

The number of people moving from eastern European countries even hit negative levels - with 2000 more people leaving the UK than arriving in the same time period.

Director of the Centre for International Migration, Jay Lindop said: "Since 2016, immigration for work has decreased because of fewer EU citizens arriving for a job."

He said that immigration for study was now the main reason for people coming to the UK from outside the EU - particularly Chinese and Indian students.

There were 285,508 sponsored study visas granted in the year ending December 2019 - more than double the number in 2012.

42 per cent of those visas were granted to Chinese nationals, and 13 per cent to Indian nationals.

The new numbers came out after the government announced their new points based system earlier this month, which is set to overhaul British immigration controls.

It will create new rules including making sure that anyone coming to the UK has to earn at least £25,600 a year - and they will have to make sure they speak English well too.

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