Migration total fails to hit record high

File photo dated 22/07/15 of passengers going through the UK Border at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport, as fresh focus will fall on immigration on Thursday as the latest batch of official figures are published, days after David Cameron fired the starting gun on the EU referendum.
Picture by: Steve Parsons / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fears of a record high in migration for the UK have proved to be unfounded after new figures were published today.

The Daily Mail reported that net migration – the difference between the higher number of immigrants versus emigrants leaving the country – could smash the record of 336,000 set in June 2015.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed in its latest figures today that up to September 2015, net migration stood at 323,000.

From the Office of National Statistics
From the Office of National Statistics

The number of immigrants entering the UK hit 617,000, a rise of 2,000, while emigration reached 294,000, decreasing by 29,000.

Net migration is on a downward slope since the beginning of last year, with immigration levels staying similar to previous years, and emigration falling by 10%.

The national newspaper had also reported a fresh flood of refugees could be heading to Europe from war-torn Syria.

Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex Border Agency, said: “We are confronting a situation in Syria this year which will result in another million refugees.”

Meanwhile, Britain has had the highest amount of EU nationals arriving for work-related reasons last year.

ONS figures show that 257,000 EU citizens came to the UK from the year ending in September 2015. Of these, 165,000 emigrated for work-related reasons.

An estimated 1.9 million EU nationals now work in the UK, which the ONS attributes to nearly half of the growth of people in employment over the last year. The department also stresses this does not represent the proportion of new jobs filled by any non-UK workers.

Although European migrants have the right to work in the UK, they need to apply for a registration certificate if they want to reside in Britain. This is unless they are a qualified person who is working, self-sufficient, studying or looking for work.

As well as this, they can work and live in the UK if they have family members who are qualified, or have retained a right of residence. All migrants must first prove if they are qualified for work or in study.

The full report can be read here.

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