Britain sees rise in migration, foreign student numbers

26th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Net migration to Britain was up 33,000 last year, official figures out Thursday showed, indicating this was linked to a fall in the number of Britons moving abroad.

Statistics also showed a big rise in the number of foreign students coming to Britain -- an increase of 35 percent to 362,015 -- in the year to the end of June 2010.

The government is looking into cutting the number of visas handed out to foreign students in a bid to stop people breaking the rules by working illegally and will make an announcement later this year, the Home Office said.

It also wants to cut net migration, which last year stood at 196,000, from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands each year.

Overall figures showed that four percent fewer people arrived in Britain last year -- some 567,000 -- but the number who left fell 13 percent to 371,000.

That compared to 590,000 and 427,000 respectively in 2008.

India was still by far the country whose nationals were granted the most visas to Britain -- 406,960 last year compared to 399,270 in 2008.

For Pakistan, its neighbour which also has strong cultural links to Britain, the figure fell to 83,915 in 2009 from 104,035 in 2008.

The Indian subcontinent counted for 34 percent of people who came to Britain and were allowed to remain permanently.

The figures also indicated that the number of people claiming asylum in Britain was down six percent on 2008 at 24,485.

© 2010 AFP

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