UK immigration and visa figures for 2012

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued its annual International Migration Outlook for 2013. The report contains summaries of changes in immigration in the 34 member countries of the OECD.

The report finds that the number of people granted citizenship in the UK rose in 2012 to nearly 200,000. The number of successful asylum applications rose slightly to 21,800.

Turning to work migration, the report found that the number of migrants coming to the UK under Tier 1 of the UK's five tier points-based immigration system fell in 2012 after the government closed Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa to new applicants in April 2012. Tier 1 of the five tier system is meant to be for 'high value migrants' but the UK's Coalition government said that many people coming to the UK in this category were actually working as taxi drivers or security guards.

Tier 1 figure likely to fall further

The Tier 1 figure is likely to fall far further in 2013 as many people rushed to apply under the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) category before it was closed in April 2012. In 2012, 32% of successful Tier 1 applicants came from India and 12% came from Pakistan. 10% came from both China and Nigeria.

The number of Tier 2 skilled worker visas rose in 2012 despite a cap of 20,700 on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas that could be issued each year. This cap was imposed in 2010 by the newly elected Coalition but does not apply to Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visas.

Work immigration figures

20112012
Citizenship177,800194,300
Asylum19,90021,800
Tier 172,50063,600
Tier 256,30068,700
Tier 4297,000

The report also found that since 2007, men who have come to the UK as immigrants have been more likely to have a job than native-born British workers, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (The OECD).

Greater percentage of immigrant men in work than native Britons

The OECD has issued its annual International Migration Outlook for 2013. The report says that, in 2001, 72.3% of immigrants in the UK were in work while 78.14% of native Britons were in work. By 2012, the proportion of immigrants in work had risen to 76.9% whereas the proportion of working Britons in work had fallen to 74.73%.

The chairman of the anti-immigration pressure group Migrationwatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, said 'the results might not show up statistically in a workforce of nearly 30m, but the anecdotal evidence (that foreign-born workers are getting jobs at the expense of British candidates) is very strong'. What is clear is that British-born workers have hardly benefited at all from the expansion of employment in the last ten years or so.

But Jean-Christophe Dumont of the OECD said that the reason that immigrant workers may have done so well might be that the UK has attracted a particularly high proportion of immigrants with tertiary education qualifications. Since 2009/10, 47.3% of migrants settling in the UK have a tertiary qualification. The OECD average rate of tertiary qualifications among migrants is 29.1%. Tertiary education is education after the completion of secondary, or high school, education and includes university.

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