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Theresa May must be happy about today’s immigration statistics, so who isn’t?

Today’s migration statistics suggest that the government may be inching towards the vicinity of its net migration target. But a meeting of the APPG on Migration yesterday showed cross-party resistance to the government’s slash and burn strategy.

After the shock of last spring’s migration statistics which showed a near-record high in net migration to the UK, the Tory frontbench will be breathing a sigh of relief after today’s figures from the Office of National Statistics were released. At last it has something to offer up to a sceptical public to show that its recent restrictions on migrant workers, family migration and foreign students seem to be taking effect. 

Today’s ONS stats show that, for the year ending March 2012, net migration declined by 24% from the previous year – the largest drop for four years in this stubborn figure. This was largely due to significant cuts in non-EEA immigration under all the major areas of policy attention in recent months. Both work and student visas declined by around 9% during that period. International student numbers dropped by 20,000, with a particular decline in students from India and Bangladesh. The drop in net migration was also boosted by a 5% increase in the number of people leaving the UK.

Future statistics over the coming year or two are likely to show further drops in net migration levels. Further visa data released by the Home Office today tells a more recent – and dramatic – story of declining non-EEA migration to the UK. This data runs up to September this year, and shows that student visa grants in the year up to then have dropped by over a quarter (26%) compared to the previous year. Family migration visas have also dropped by 15%, presumably related to changes including the introduction of the new income threshold for sponsoring spouses and partners. We can expect further declines in the visa grants for non-EEA nationals in the months to come as the impacts of tough policies continue to roll out.

But what might be a good news story for the home secretary and her team will be received rather differently in the back corridors of Westminster and beyond. The messages coming from many sides are that government’s hell-for-leather pursuit of lower immigration levels at national level is generating economic and social ripples across the UK.

Confirmation that significant numbers of foreign students are being barred from entry is, in particular, likely to be received with horror. Yesterday’s meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration heard cross-party agreement between Nadhim Zahawi MP (Con) and Paul Blomfield MP (Lab) about the damaging economic consequences of slashing foreign student numbers in the UK. Echoing comments by London’s mayor Boris Johnson’s earlier this week, their view is that party politics should not stand in the way of a more pragmatic approach which promotes the long term growth of the education sector by continuing to attract foreign students, not turn them away. Three parliamentary select committees, as well as various frontbenchers within the coalition government, have reportedly all recently critiqued the government’s migration strategy as regards international students, adding fuel to campaigns to take students out of the net migration target rather than continue in the current vein.  

Critically, the APPG meeting also heard that the problems with the government’s punitive approach towards international students are not limited to economic costs. Representatives from the NUS and Coventry Students Union told MPs at the APPG meeting that many foreign students are increasingly hounded as a result of their colleges and universities intensive monitoring of their whereabouts. They called for a wider reform of the system in relation to international students if the government wants its colleges and universities to remain attractive in competitive global markets into the future. This, coupled with today’s report by John Vine into the UKBA failure to properly process information about international students, should act as an important reminder that there are ongoing issues with the operation of in-country immigration controls as well as with those applying to come here.

All this is to say that statistics are clearly not the only thing that counts when judging immigration management - this time the story behind the immigration figures seems to suggest that short-term goals are being pursued which are likely to carry significant long-term costs. 

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Comments

OK so some couples' and families' lives are ruined but the numbers look good - right, got it!

Exactly... and she is the "minister of equality"... the "minister of women and children"??? How many innocent families have to pay for the home office's mistakes over the years???

The 'brightest and the best' that May and Green have already let into the UK includes the two Russian bankers shot by their ex colleauges. One in east London and the other in a home counties leafy residential gated english community.
Obviously in both cases these Russian bankers had the necessary income and credentials to pass May and Greens Home Office and UKBA UK entry criteria unobstructed!

In a House of Lords debate it was stated that the restriction on students could cost the UK 25billions GBP by 2015.
What is more HE would be lost to overseas countries resulting in a loss of jobs and future income to the UK.
A professor from East Anglia Uni stated that for every 10 overseas students 6 UK jobs were created in the UK ranging from lecturers to cleaners!
But that loss also makes the UK a pariah state in the eyes of overseas countries who will see they are 'not wanted' in the UK!

This situation already exists with overseas tourists, especially from China, who now see the UK as a difficult country to get a visa to enter and head for other european countries avoiding the UK.
Compare this with the attitude of my wifes country where tourists are welcomed as making a positive contribution to the countries economic income.
In addition as the spouse of a home national bringing revenue into my wifes country I am able to get a visa in about 3 days and could apply and be accepted for a permanent visa!

Thus the 2010 party political pledge made by Cameronto reduce immigration was a complete nonsense because he had no idea of the actuallity and then chose May as Home Secretary who has no idea what to do and is completely incompetent as is Green!

Yes prior to 2010 there was a problem. But there still is a problem. Except now its a bigger problem.
Chief Insp John Vine reported he found more than 100,000 unopened items of post in a Liverpool back office as staff struggled to deal with 147,000 case files going back to the 1990s!
Damien Green the then Immigration Minister told MPs he had approved a UKBA request to relax checks on achived cases!

Two senior UKBA officials told MPs they regretted they had 'inadvertently misled' MPs over significant failings in the handling of a huge backlog of cases - but refuse to repay their annual bonuses of GBP10K annual bonuses!

The Inst of Race Relations has published a report titled ''Theresa May and punitive populism''.

It lays out Mays immigration policy under PM Cameron. It lays out the false claims made by May to justify her polcy against immigrants particulary the affects on ''family life''.
Husbands wives children are to be sacrificed by family man Cameron and the christian vicars daughter May!

Cameron May and the toxic Tory nasty party see immigration bashing as a vote winner for the 2015 general election. Their policy is pure political ideology motivated by selfish political gain!
Thus they see themselves as the champions of punitive populism for their own political power!

The student capping and new immigration rulings are not going down well in China and probably likewise in some other countries. what Cameron and his party are doing is a short term fix that will cost the UK dearly. the loss of many students from China plus other countries will be felt by many business's. I cannot for the hell of it see what the conservative party hope to gain from this. in fact if anything it will be much more of a loss in revenue and a knock on affect to other sectors will also hurt too. long term losses and make no mistake they will be felt across the board.
A lot of Chinese students choose to study in the UK because they want to speak proper English and know they will get a better education than back home and they simply love many things about our country.mention England and you will hear the likes of Oxford,Cambridge,London, Buckingham palace,Tower of London, Mr bean. and a lot more but because of the new Immigration rulings more and more are heading for the USA ,Australia and Canada.and gains of course for those countries and a big loss for the UK.
I presently have to reside in my wife's country where I am welcomed very warmly and the Chinese government have allowed me to have a visa to live here. the visa office staff have always been very helpful and polite. yet if I want to bring my wife to the UK to live then one of the things I must do is get a job earning I understand a minimum of 18.000 a year. and I firmly believe that that amount was set as to make it all but impossible for most people. so I have but two choices. try and live in my wife's country or live in the UK alone and apart from my wife.
I did have a good job there but was told my 300 pounds a week take home pay was not enough for her to even visit me in the UK on a visitor visa. the whole immigration process sucks
I have to agree with Geronimo's post above and share his sentiments. China has a population of 1.3 billion people yet you can get your visa done very quickly if they can do it then why can't we. the Chinese are very quick in certain things. my wife took me to an opticians .no appointment was made. in just over one hour I had my eyes tested and a very good pair of glasses with frames that I had picked handed to me. the cost,14 pounds.
my wife is trying to learn English and she was bemused along with some other Chinese when they saw a film clip that was circulating showing David Cameron failing to explain the Magna Carta . on an American TV show. why must people learn British history when your Mr Cameron could not give answer I was asked. I replied he was educated at Eaton but probably thought British history was not important until the day he went on American TV and showed the world a little more of his incompetence like May and Green have previously managed to do quite well..

In the Cameron 2010 pre election pledge to tackle UK immigration Cameron had no idea how.
Having got into office with a stitch up deal with the Lib Dems they both decided their political agendas.
Cameron appoints his cronies as his ministers and May with Green are his good cronies!
May and Green found that due to EEA Treaty with the UK she couldn't touch any EU national.
She turned her attention to NON EU nationals where she has been prepared to breach ECHR / UK Law repeatedly and where she has been challenged in the Courts and has lost.
One Judge told May she was trying to side-step parliamentary scrutiny. Another Judge ruled she was in contempt of Court. The Supreme Court with 5 Judges has unanimously ruled against her. Thus May has a track record of being taken to Court and losing.
How can a British Home Secretary so brazenly flout the Law be found at fault and get away with it?
This is why she has tried to influence the Judiciary and the Lawyers and close down appeals.
It is all political manipulation to sieze power whereby this government can do as it pleases.

Every move May makes is planned and implemented by an army of publicly paid civil service emplyees. Money is no object to May because the public funds all she does.
May knows that she can hurt and bar people with limited incomes. Thats why UKBA fees have been increased as have the rules and tests she has implemented. To block immigrants!
May doesn't want immigrants with limited funds. But she lets in millionaire Russian bankers.
Of course all her rules and tests are designed to bar the normal immigrant she doesn't want.
The fact that she is destroying the family lives of ordinary British citizens is no problem to May and the Tory party.
Cameron is an Eton educated toff who appoints his cronies and like Andrew Mitchell said we are all PLEBS. So millionaire Russian bankers are welcome instead whatever their history.
And if they go on shooting each other what of it!
Cameron May Green the Tory Party are all politicians up for grabs to the highest bidder who will support them Camerons friendship with Murdoch via Rebbekah the red head shows the play. Camerons employment of Andy Coulson another ex Murdoch employee! Both now waiting their Court appearance on phone hacking charges!
But Cameron and the Tory party are failing the country on jobs the economy and cost of living.
By 2015 immigration will be a side issue in comparison and the hurt done to British families and freedoms will be in the background - that Cameron and May will wish to forget!
But some have long memories and that hurt will remain and we may yet meet them in hell!

Anonymous wrote: "so I have but two choices. try and live in my wife's country or live in the UK alone and apart from my wife."

Third choice is to live and take job in another EU country for 6 months after which you have protection under the EU treaties regarding freedom of movement and can then return to the UK without having to satisfy the UK rules.

UK 2008 does everyone remember the German Doctor Daniel Ubani who gave 70 year patient David Gray an overdose of morphine 20 times over the limit which killed him because Dr Ubani was employed by the NHS without checking his competency and ability to speak English.
Well the Daily Mail reports that in 2012 the UK Government have made no progress to rectify that situation! Four years later two under this Tory led Coalition and no progress made to stop that happening again it seems!
Yet if you are a British citizen with a NON EU spouse who you want to live a family life with you in the UK Cameron and May have introduced tests which are designed to stop you!
The Pre Entry English test is a put up job that even born and bred educated English people have taken and failed. Because it is designed for the applicant to fail. But applicants can take it again, and again, and again and keep paying the fee!
nice little earner for the UKBA!
Then the Life in the UK test which is to be made harder.
Anyone read the New Statesman? Well Medhi Hasan a journalist who also writes for the Huff Post reported that he and the NS Editorial team all took the Life in the UK test and failed miserably! His words,
He concluded that the test was not designed to integrate applicants but to fail them - deliberately!
This is the divisive policy of Cameron and May to reduce UK immigration in order to claim to a brainwashed electorate by 2015 election they have tackled immigration!
But they have done nothing to stop an incompetent doctor who cannot speak english practising in the UK and repeating the 2008 death of a British citizen! Wrong priorities it seems!

No comment. what more can one say except that in addition to the economic woes, that their deliberately planned and executed policies against people of other races would some day yield the desired fruits-whether positive or negative. Things could change you know someday whereby British citizens will go search for greener pastures some where and be made to face the same kind of treatment they are metting out to others-especially Non-EU citizens. After all, most of what they have here was carted away from other lands; the sweats of others, especially people from those nations they are now spurning helped build this place. They love history and write histories. Let them check their history and see how things were acquired from other nations in treacherous ways.

Only one word: SADIST!

You folks might like to read todays Telegraph report by Neil Tweedie on the Russian millionaires now living in the UK on Tier 1 visas. Makes an interesting read about the possibility of Russian assasinations.
Tweedie reports that Britain is now the home to 300,000 Russians living in London in particular.

You might recall ex Imm Minister Damien Green saying Britain only wanted the 'brightest and the best'! He's now Police Minister.
When he was a back bench MP Greeen got himself arrested in the Commons for getting a civil servant to pass him information.
Insp Bob Quick reported D Green was taken to the Police station and offered his one phone call. Green called Andy Coulson who then still worked for News International.
So Greens idea of the 'bightest and the best' seems to include 300,000 Russian millionaires!

Ruth, you do realise that students can not be taken out of the NET migration figures until it can be proved they are all temporary. Current surveys show 20% stay on beyond their studies. The only way to prove 100% of foreign students leave, is to reinstate emigration controls and count them in and count them out. It should be quite simple with biometric technology and face to face interviews at our embassies. I don't suppose you know what the delay is, as it is all party policy.

In a report in the Guardian by Alan Travis on 29 Nov 2012 he says the Home Office said family visa data showed there had been a 15% fall in the number of family related visas to 42,213.
Well we all know this fall isn't due to there being no applicants but that the Home Office and UKBA under T May has made the rules so divisive and draconian that getting a visa is nearly impossible.
May's new rules have been challenged in Court, up to the Supreme Court, and ruled unlawful!
May has been told by the Courts she has tried to side step Parliamentary scrutiny and in a another case was held in contempt of Court.
This is the Home Secretary whoes role it is to uphold British Law not breach it - or try to side step it!
We now know that the tests implemented by May lack credibility in that British born and bred citizens have taken both the Pre Entry English test and the Life in the UK test and failed.
Indeed Medhi Hasan in the New Statesman informed us that the NS editorial team all took the Life in the UK test and all failed - miserably. His words. He concluded the test was being used as a weapon against immigration and not for integration! So this expalins the fall in family related visas to 42,213.
But compare this with the 300,000 Russians given UK for bringing in their wealth.
Now read the reports in the Telegraph and on BBC website of the reports on the death of Alexander Perepilichny and the Magnitsky affair.
The BBC and the Teelgraph are suggesting that the 300,000 Russians are not only bring their wealth into the UK but 'suspicious deaths and a spate of assasinations!
So when Green and Harper said they welcomed the 'brightest and the best' into Britain was this what they meant?
Meanwhile if you are a respectable tax paying self sufficient British citizen trying to get you spouse or family in the UK to lead a family life May's divisive and draconian rules are stacked against you. Toxic Tory nasty party at their best - wake up Britain your freedoms are in danger!

And the funniest thing is that, Europeans Nationals, that are the ones that are saturating the UK's job market, schools + healty and bennefits system, are let in freely. What a shame, David Cameron and Theresa May. Np: less than 3 years for a new election...

Like many others my wife's visa settlement application was refused because we got some of the paperwork wrong, i.e. documentary proof of my income. Although there was a lot to gather and get done I did all that in less than the FOUR WEEKS allowed.

Then FTT took FIVE WEEKS just to open the envelope and charge my credit card.

Then it's THREE WEEKS to send it back to the refusing location.

After that it's a staggering SIXTEEN WEEKS to do what will take a few minutes, i.e. check through all the documents to confirm all is well.

This is in effect a PUNISHMENT of couples, almost putting them both in solitary confinement, FOR DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG.

I presume the idea is to present another obstacle, TWENTY-EIGHT WEEKS, to marriage between a British citizen and a non-EU national. This government really is morally bankrupt.

I don't know how that is possible I heard that In a House of Lords debate it was stated that the restriction on students could cost the UK 25billions GBP by 2015 this is ana amazing article really enjoyed it.

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