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Immigration to UK to reach record levels in 2022

Immigration to UK to reach record levels in 2022

Status: 05/25/2023 2:33 pm

For years, the Conservative British government tried to control immigration. Nevertheless, net immigration rose to a record level in 2022. Prime Minister Sunak is clear: “The number is too high.”

In the UK, net immigration hit a record high last year. This is the result of the latest estimates by the British statistics agency ONS. According to this, by 2022 around 600,000 more people have immigrated to Great Britain than left the country. This is 100,000 more than the previous year. Although more than 550,000 people left the country, the total number of immigrants last year was about 1.16 million.

“The main reasons for this increase are people coming to the UK from non-EU countries for work, study and humanitarian reasons,” said Jay Lindop, director of the Center for International Migration. These include people from Ukraine and Hong Kong, with whom the UK has visa agreements.

However, estimated net migration was lower than expected. There was speculation in the media that it could be as high as 700,000.

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Sunak: “The number is too high”

However, the latest migration figures are a setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government. For years, governing conservatives have made curbing immigration one of their top priorities.

In the past, immigration targeted fewer than 100,000 people a year. Sunak also promised to limit immigration, but without specifying a specific number. Regarding the ONS estimates, Sunak told ITV News: “The number is too high, it’s too simple. I want to bring it down.”

Strict restrictions against immigration

A few days ago, the government in London announced that it would stop issuing visas to relatives of postgraduate students in Great Britain from next year. According to government figures, 136,000 visas for partners or children of students were issued in 2022 alone, eight times more than in 2019.

London intends to crack down on irregular entry through the English Channel. Last year around 45,000 people crossed the strait to Britain by boat. By tightening asylum laws, the government intends to deport significant numbers of refugees who have entered the country illegally.