Immigration Minister Damian Green has today welcomed figures that demonstrate a fall in net migration to the UK.
Estimated net migration fell to 216,000 in the year to December 2011; down from 252,000 in the year to December 2010 as a raft of recent reforms to the immigration system start to bite.
The figures also showed a sharp drop in the number of student visas, which fell by 30% in the year to June 2012. Tourist visas remained on the rise.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
‘We are now starting to see the real difference our tough policies are making, with an overall fall in net migration and the number of visas issued at its lowest since 2005.
‘At the same time, there are encouraging signs that we continue to attract the brightest and best and to support tourism in the UK.
‘We will continue to work hard to ensure that net migration is reduced from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.
‘We are doing this by improving the selectivity of our immigration system and increasing enforcement activity to prevent people coming into the UK illegally and removing those with no right to be here.’