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commentary 01 Feb 2024
This commentary analyses the series of changes to immigration rules designed to reduce net migration and their main implications.
commentary 31 Jan 2024
This analysis provides information on the number of sponsors, how it has changed over time and the types of employers who are more likely to be sponsors using data from the UK register of licenced visa sponsors.
commentary 30 Jan 2024
This analysis uses data provided to the Migration Observatory through freedom of information requests to look at what international students do in the UK after their studies.
commentary 23 Jan 2024
This briefing note brings together statistics and research evidence to inform discussion about policy measures designed explicitly to deter people from seeking asylum in the UK.
commentary 10 Jan 2024
This updated commentary answers some common questions about the Rwanda asylum policy and its implications, reflect the Supreme Court judgment that the Rwanda plan was unlawful, and the UK government's publishing of a new Rwanda treaty and bill.
commentary 06 Dec 2023
This commentary discusses the Home Secretary's recently announced policy changes designed to reduce migration.
commentary 18 Oct 2023
This commentary outlines three key challenges that remain with respect to the EU Settlement Scheme – late applications, the application backlog, and the potential for loss of status.
commentary 20 Sep 2023
This analysis uses new data from HMRC to show how the size and earnings of the migrant employee workforce has changed over time in recent years.
commentary 26 Jul 2023
This briefing note reviews the government’s Impact Assessment on the Illegal Migration Act 2023.
commentary 27 Apr 2023
This short commentary outlines some key statistics about Albanian asylum seekers in the UK and the EU more broadly.
commentary 26 Apr 2023
This commentary examines the Illegal Migration Bill, which proposes to prevent the government from hearing people’s asylum claims if they entered the UK without authorisation.
commentary 13 Apr 2023
This short note provides updated statistics relating to the minimum income requirement and who does and does not meet it.
commentary 03 Mar 2023
This commentary examines what has changed with the EUSS scheme and what that may mean.
commentary 21 Nov 2022
This commentary examines why there has been an increase in non-EU migration to the UK and what we can expect over the coming years.
commentary 02 Jul 2021
Continued reports of migrants trying to reach the UK by crossing the English Channel in small boats have intensified debate about unauthorised migration and asylum seeking. This Q&A reviews what we know about small boat arrivals in the UK.
commentary 28 Jun 2021
The EUSS deadline is not the end of the story. From July 1, EUSS moves to its next phase. This commentary outlines a few key issues and looks at what happens next.
commentary 08 Jun 2021
New Home Office data give a glimpse into the new post-Brexit immigration system. The data show low take-up of the new visa system among EU citizens, although as this commentary explains, it is still too early to judge the impact that the immigration system itself is having on EU migration.
commentary 23 Mar 2021
This commentary outlines a few of the ways in which the landscape facing policymakers and practitioners working on migrant integration might change as a result of the new immigration system.
commentary 05 Feb 2021
This commentary examines what we know from available data about how the total size of the migrant population has changed in 2020.
commentary 23 Nov 2020
This commentary answers some common questions about the proposed new policy of creating a special immigration route for British National (Overseas) citizens (BNOs) and its implications
commentary 11 Sep 2020
This commentary examines the findings of the Pew and GLA studies. It also looks at how these findings were produced, and highlights their high degree of uncertainty.
commentary 29 Jun 2020
This commentary looks at the government’s projected impacts of the post-Brexit ‘points-based’ immigration system.
commentary 26 Jun 2020
commentary 24 Jun 2020
This commentary discusses the new immigration bill before Parliament and what it will mean if passed into law.
commentary 27 Apr 2020
This commentary answers some frequently asked questions about the planned immigration system and its potential implication.
commentary 28 Jan 2020
commentary 13 Nov 2019
commentary 18 Jun 2019
commentary 23 May 2019
Migration Observatory Response to the ONS Migration Statistics Engagement Report
commentary 19 Feb 2019
What can we say about where them immigration system is heading after Brexit? What questions remain unanswered?
commentary 14 Dec 2018
commentary 17 Oct 2018
commentary 16 Jul 2018
Estimates of the numbers of EU citizens living in the UK are not precise.
commentary 20 Jun 2018
Looks at the implications of new plans to exempt doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 visa cap.
commentary 29 Mar 2018
Illustrates the effects of a £60,000 threshold on eligibility for work visas in different high-skilled occupations
commentary 22 Jun 2017
The Migration Observatory was awarded the ESRC prize for Outstanding Impact in Society
commentary 21 Jun 2017
Looks at what we know about migration to and from the UK since the EU referendum.
commentary 24 May 2017
Outlines the migration related policies presented by the three main national UK parties in their manifestos for the 2017 general election
commentary 04 May 2017
Explains the policies introduced to reduce net migration since 2010 and reasons why the target has not been met.
commentary 21 Apr 2017
Examines the ways in which the devaluation of the pound after the EU-referendum can affect migration to the UK
commentary 22 Mar 2017
Provides key data and links to importance pieces in anticipation of Article 50 being triggered
commentary 23 Feb 2017
Understanding the datasets that will inform the post-referendum debate on migration.
commentary 03 Aug 2016
What will happen to the over 3 million EU citizens living in the UK?
commentary 09 Jun 2016
It is not possible to know exactly how a vote to leave the EU would affect migration to the UK.
commentary 13 Apr 2016
What makes the UK such an attractive destination for migrants?
commentary 10 Mar 2016
The outcomes of Brexit are uncertain and fall into two categories: policy and the impacts of policy.
commentary 24 Nov 2015
How should the UK decide how many refugees to take? One of the reasons this has been such a difficult question is that there are many different lenses through which it can be viewed.
commentary 25 Aug 2015
The number of UK residents who were born abroad is likely to exceed 8 million for the first time in 2014.
commentary 16 Jul 2015
Recent trends and in EU migration and the countries of birth of EU migrants living in the UK.
commentary 25 Jun 2015
Where do students fit in the immigration system, what do we know about how they contribute to net migration, and what would it mean to 'take them out' of the net migration target.
commentary 14 May 2015
The return of the Conservative Party to government has a number of interesting ramifications for migration, including an EU referendum and the continuation of the net migration target.
commentary 16 Apr 2015
How has the state of immigration changed in the UK over the past five years?
commentary 29 Mar 2015
One way to get a picture of how migration has been changing over a period of several years is to look at the numbers and characteristics of 'recent migrant workers' (RMWs) who arrived in the UK within the past five years.
commentary 27 Feb 2015
How did net migration become the measure by which the government’s immigration policy is judged?
commentary 17 Feb 2015
Security is a persistent theme in immigration debates, particularly after media coverage of crimes perpetrated by migrants or members of distinct diaspora communities, or acts of terrorism involving these groups.
commentary 30 Dec 2014
A year after labour market controls on A2 migrants came to an end, what do we know about what has actually happened?
commentary 27 Nov 2014
Today’s net migration estimate is further confirmation that the net migration target will be missed.
commentary 17 Nov 2014
The minimum income restriction has important indirect effects across gender, ethnicity, education, age and place of residence.
commentary 28 Oct 2014
What do we know about these EU migrants who are now at the centre of political discussion in the UK?
commentary 24 Oct 2014
This commentary considers four key aspects of the Calais situation: the background, definitions of 'illegal' immigrants and asylum seekers, existing data and the role of policies.
commentary 01 Sep 2014
Economic estimates are important, but limited in that they cannot resolve important judgements about the type of society people want.
commentary 24 Jun 2014
In the last two centuries, Scotland’s population change has been characterised more by emigration than by immigration.
commentary 15 May 2014
When the Scottish government released its White Paper outlining what an independent Scotland might look like, migration policy was a small but essential element of it.
commentary 14 May 2014
Bold claims about how little effect the lifting of labour market restrictions will have on the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK over the next year are premature.
commentary 12 May 2014
New data will provide the first evidence about the number of A2 workers in the UK after the lifting of the restrictions.
commentary 02 Apr 2014
Who actually counts as a migrant in Scotland? And will that change if Scotland votes for independence?
commentary 06 Mar 2014
Are the conclusions of the Home Office/BIS report very different to those of the MAC report?
commentary 21 Feb 2014
Who actually counts as a 'benefit tourist' or a 'health tourist', and how much do they cost the UK?
commentary 17 Dec 2013
There is a lack of official estimates about how many migrants from Romania and Bulgaria may arrive in the UK, and it will be several months before any official data shows the actual level of migration from these countries.
commentary 02 Dec 2013
There are several different ways of characterising the change that has happened in Scotland, all of which are accurate, but all of which may elicit different responses to the change.
commentary 13 Sep 2013
Outlines the differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK in migration policy, dynamics and attitudes, and considers the implications of migration issues for Scottish independence.
commentary 29 Aug 2013
A particular challenge for the government is that declining emigration – which fell by more than 20,000 – is the primary cause of the recent increase in net migration.
commentary 14 Jul 2013
International students make the single biggest contribution to non-EU immigration to the UK, and have been a key focus of policies aimed at reducing overall net migration.
commentary 23 May 2013
Public opinion and commentators have been sceptical about the chances of the net migration target being reached.
commentary 24 Apr 2013
Since migration policy ultimately rests on value judgments as well as costs and benefits, the evidence base may be a crucial underpinning for the debate, but will never be the whole story.
commentary 13 Apr 2013
The Observatory is, and will remain, committed to independent analysis of data relating to immigration and other migration issues affecting the UK.
commentary 08 Feb 2013
There is, at present, no sound method for working out how many Romanians and Bulgarians will come.
commentary 12 Dec 2012
The release of new data from the 2011 Census provides a wealth of information about the foreign-born populations of England and Wales.
commentary 07 Dec 2012
The recent decline in student immigration follows a series of policies introduced by the coalition government to reduce overall net migration.
commentary 19 Sep 2012
Better understanding what members of the British public think about student immigration is of critical importance to the current policy debate in the UK.
commentary 30 Aug 2012
The ONS has provided an indication of the uncertainty surrounding its estimates of net migration, which is an important and helpful change to the presentation of official migration statistics.
commentary 29 Jun 2012
How exactly does EU citizens’ right to freedom of movement affect migration to and from the UK?
commentary 24 May 2012
The data suggest that the government still has a very long way to go if it hopes to hit its target of net migration in the ‘tens of thousands’ by 2015.
commentary 13 Apr 2012
Has the UK experienced more immigration than other high-income countries?
commentary 29 Feb 2012
Even if the government manages to achieve their net migration target by 2015, net migration is unlikely to be sustained at that level because there will be a “bounce” caused by reduced emigration in the following years.
commentary 01 Feb 2012
We do not have good enough data to calculate what proportion of new jobs in the economy migrants are taking up.
commentary 18 Jan 2012
Recent contradictory reports on the labour market effects of immigration in the UK suggest that there is no absolute answer to whether migration affects employment rates.
commentary 28 Nov 2011
A Migration Observatory survey showed extremely interesting regional variations that suggest some pronounced differences between views in different parts of the country.
commentary 27 Oct 2011
A brief look at how the skilled worker cap works and what else might be affecting employers of migrants who would be covered by it.
commentary 25 Aug 2011
A steep rise in net migration from Eastern Europe raises the question of whether government policies to cut net migration from outside the EU may be stimulating a demand for more EU workers.
commentary 12 Aug 2011
High-income countries around the world are major receivers of remittances.
commentary 20 Jul 2011
Most politicians have skirted the issue of what size the population of the UK should actually be.
commentary 20 Jun 2011
There is significant uncertainty about any assessments of the impacts of policy changes on future net migration.
commentary 17 Jun 2011
Reforming the family migration route is the last of the four key elements in the government’s ongoing reform of immigration.
commentary 26 May 2011
Focusing only on long-term net migration risks failing to consider other vital data about migration in the UK – not least, how many migrants are actually here.
commentary 23 May 2011
Reducing net migration is likely to be dependent not only on reducing the number of migrants entering the UK, but also on boosting the number of people who leave.
commentary 29 Apr 2011
What will the lifting of the WRS mean for A8 migration to the UK?
commentary 14 Apr 2011
It is clear that achieving the net-migration target of the tens of thousands presents an enourmous challenge.
commentary 05 Apr 2011
What else could the government do to effectively regulate labour immigration?
commentary 01 Apr 2011
The Coalition government announced plans that will, they say, reduce the number of student visas issued by 70-80,000
commentary 29 Mar 2011
The Migration Observatory is designed to provide a solid, independent source of analysis that anyone can use to understand migration and immigration issues.
commentary 11 Feb 2011
British people are more opposed to immigration than all of the other countries surveyed - even though several of these countries have higher levels of immigration and illegal immigration than the UK.