New research confirms the government’s net migration target is unsustainable

Arbitrary targets to reduce migration are unlikely to work, argues Sarah Mulley of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

This week saw the publication of two important pieces of analysis of the UK’s migration system, both of which are significant for the government’s much-vaunted net migration target.

The first report, published by the home office, traces the progress of migrants through the immigration system in order to measure how many people in different immigration categories remain in the UK after 5 years, or settle permanently.

For all the talk of an immigration system in crisis, the results of the study show outcomes broadly consistent with policy.

A high proportion of those entering on routes designed to allow permanent settlement remain legally in the UK after 5 years or achieve permanent settlement in this time:

61% of those who entered the UK on family visas in 2006 had achieved permanent settlement 5 years later, with an additional 5% having on-going leave to remain.

29% of those who entered the UK on skilled worker visas in 2006 had achieved permanent settlement 5 years later, with an additional 11% having on-going leave to remain.

In contrast, only a small proportion of those entering on routes not designed to lead to settlement remain legally in the UK after 5 years or achieve permanent settlement in this time:

Only 2% of those who entered the UK on temporary work visas in 2006 had achieved permanent settlement 5 years later, with an additional 7% having on-going leave to remain.

Only 1% of those who entered the UK on student visas in 2006 had achieved permanent settlement 5 years later, with an additional 17% having on-going leave to remain.

While the study cannot tell us anything about those who stay in the UK after their visas expire, it does suggest that, broadly speaking, the system is delivering what it is designed to do. (This is not to deny the serious problems of administration which continue to plague UKBA).

More importantly though, this study is a reminder of how difficult the government is going to find it to reduce net migration (the difference between immigration and emigration) in a sustainable way.

Because a large proportion of migration to the UK is temporary, very large cuts to immigration are needed to achieve even modest reductions in net migration.

For example, if only 18% of student migrants are still in the UK after 5 years, the government needs to issue 5556 fewer student visas in order to reduce net migration by 1000.

If only 40% of skilled workers are still in the UK after 5 years, then the government needs to issue 2500 fewer skilled worker visas in order to reduce net migration by 1000.

Consider that the latest figures show net migration of 183,000 as compared to a target of less than 100,000 and it becomes apparent that drastic cuts to non-EU migration would be needed for the government’s target to be sustained.

The government can achieve short term reductions in net migration by cutting immigration now, which might be enough for ministers to claim success in a general election campaign, but the effects on net migration will be short-lived, and the economic consequences serious.

The second report, published today by the independent Migration Advisory Council (MAC), points to a more sustainable way to reduce migration in the longer term.

The report recommends that more jobs be removed from the ‘shortage list’ that allows some employers easier access to skilled workers from overseas.

The MAC are clear that it is long-term investment in training and workforce development that has reduced the number of jobs in the UK suffering systemic skill shortages.

Changes to the shortage list are insignificant in terms of overall migration flows, but the message of the MAC report should be taken to heart by government and policymakers.

Migration patterns sometimes show up wider economic challenges (skills shortages, poor quality jobs) – an arbitrary target to reduce net migration will do nothing to tackle them, so policymakers must look elsewhere for long-term answers.

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75 Responses to “New research confirms the government’s net migration target is unsustainable”

  1. White Anonymous truther

    No one says a country that is 100% Black needs more diversity. No one says a country that is 100% Asian needs more diversity. All White countries and only White countries always FORCED to be more diverse. White countries only stop needing to be more diverse when there are no White people left in them. Diversity is a codeword for White genocide.

    Every White country on the planet is forced to become multicultural and multiracial. Every White country is ordered to “assimilate” its own race and culture to oblivion. No “anti-racists” demand that of ANY non-White country. It’s genocide.

    These anti-whites claim to be “anti-racist”, but their actions result in the genocide of only one race, my race, White people. The true goal of immigration and assimilation is to wipe out my race.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    The anti-White shows his true colours. The belief that anything pro-White,? anything positive for Whites is bad. Is anything pro-Black racist? Is anything pro-Asian racist?

    The United Kingdom Government is currently severe breaching Article 2 of Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

  2. DonnaTxx

    Genocide as defined by international law; the indigenous Brits are already a minority in places like London. Once Brits are a minority they will lose their political power forever.

  3. Newsbot9

    Yes, it is – your calls for genocide are hence illegal. And no, there is not a Celtish majority in London, and hasn’t been. And?

  4. Newsbot9

    Typical nonsense. You’re the genocidal one, the one who is leading the charge against anyone not just like you. There is no conspiracy, and racists like you refuse to admit the trends across the world.

    And I see, you think that allowing your calls for genocide to exist is illegal. Well, fine, go to jail for them then. The growing White British population will be pleased to see you where dangerous anti-British manics like you belong.

  5. MikeUK4Life

    You are a typical brainwashed sheep who believe anything the mainstream media tells you to. Why don’t you stick stick to watching the BBC news so you can absorb more propaganda. Keep your head in the sand, that obviously makes you happy.

  6. Mick

    Nobody mentioned hate except you.

    And on the wider immigration debate, it never made much sense bringing in so many people, so many the demographics will be decisively altered within a century.

    Simply, we’re told we always need more incomers to ‘save’ the NHS and everything. This at a time when unemployment has shot up again and jobs have been exported overseas by the binful. We’ve got a housing crisis too, with everything else in shorter supply with more mouths to feed. Stuff we would have had an easier time with with a steadier population and cut immigration.

    We can’t pay for all these people to get old. So, we’re told, we should bring in EVEN MORE. Unlimited immigration is a nation-killer, just as any overdose.

  7. Mick

    Nobody called for genocide. And yes, demographics IS an issue.

    Leaving colour out of it, isn’t it sad when ANYBODY is displaced by others? Reading history books, I always thought it a pity when tribes attacked across Europe and Asia.

    Though, as we know, the Left can have a HUGE colour bar against whites, in the name of some kind of vengeance. (‘Hideously white’, yeah, right!)

  8. Newsbot9

    You’re mixing up myself and you again, I see.

  9. Newsbot9

    Nope, the killer is killers, the violent right. I call you hate hate, because it’s hate. Keep on claiming that isolation and xenophobia are the answers.

    You’re conflating all types of problem into your murderous strategy, housing (plain short), economics (Tory death cycle), etc.

  10. Newsbot9

    Yes, there was a clear call for genocide there. To purge the non-whites. Many of whom have nowhere to go, Britain being their country. SO the only way you’ll get anywhere is the violence the far right routinely resort to.

    And no, your attempted murder of everyone not “White British” is far, far more than sad. And yes, your type of barbarian is a real problem.

    You keep on trying to label not being massively bigoted as a conspiracy against you. Keep up with the propaganda youtube links, to try and justify your genocidal calls.

  11. Newsbot9

    So the only Tory “answers” are isolating the UK still further from the world economy and smashing the income Universities are depending on. Brilliant! Gotta crush what remains of the economy, after all…

  12. daisymay

    the reports quoted are at least serious – in so far as they present real information – most of the comments so far are not. It would be great to have a measured discussion about immigration which looks at real economic, social and political costs and benefits of different kinds of immigration. It would then be easier to avoid the kind of intemperate bull-sh*t we hear so often and which contributes very little except to raise the temperature of all concerned

  13. lonely husband

    Meanwhile I and my wife of over a year still wait for her settlement visa. We satisfy all the rules, but we missed some of the technicalities (deliberately?) hidden away on the UKBA website. So she was refused and we had to appeal. We supplied the documents they wanted very quickly – we get one month, they get six months. Now the foreign diplomatic post is sitting on the appeal, making us wait months, making us suffer for no known reason. It is as if they are punishing us for getting married. And that is after paying £1,000 in fees. How marriage friendly is that?

  14. MikeUK4Life

    No I don’t think so. There is no conspiracy theory, only fact. I live in London and I have become a minority in my own capital. How many Asian or African countries can you say that the indigenous population are the minority? If you can’t see what is clearly in front of your eyes then you are a denier and an appeaser of which our nation has many.

    You carry on believing all is well, then once islam takes over the UK and you have a blade to your throat, I can say ‘I told you so’.

    There is no point debating with you as you are so blinded by the lies that you wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked you in the face.

  15. EmmieD

    The problems are complex – but boil down to the fact that this is an island; space and resources are limited – people already here have families, some of them large. People already here are homeless, jobless; there are pensioners living on very little, and kids in classrooms where the majority of the class barely speak English. At some point bringing in more and more and more people has to come to a halt: we can’t take them all. When will that time come?

  16. Mick

    All the boxes seem ticked: ‘ killer is killers, the violent right.’ (It wasn’t OUR Weymann Bennett arrested in Bolton for conspiracy to riot was it?)

    Hate hate hate, murserous strategy, xenophobia, Tory death cycle…..

    The machine’s on full whack here. Love it.

  17. ede


    I’m getting as whacky as the Left!

  18. Mick

    Nobody said anything about moving people to purge them. All that was mentioned was the decline in white populations, something people in the Left seems to find unimportant.

    Which is why you get rubbish like ‘too many whites’ in any given place.

  19. Newsbot9

    Moving? No, you don’t need to.

    And the white population is growing. Moreover, the rubbish is your “too many non-White” people, you’re inventing chimeras to justify your position as “contrary” to something, when it’s yours.

  20. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep running away from the facts. You glory in them.

  21. Newsbot9

    Yes, your far right are a minority in the capital. In fact, you’re a minority everywhere. You are not “indigenous”, not being Celtic either.

    Islamism, not Islam, has the potential of being an issue. But your violent far right are a problem today. I’m Jewish, and I know who is a priority in terms of threat.

    And yes, I’m sure you will try smacking me in the face rather than dealing with the truth. Which is WHY your far right are the primary issue.

  22. Newsbot9

    Feel free to go back home rather than trying to undermine Britain.

    Keep claiming we don’t need jobs and skilled foreign workers. Keep claiming that the economy needs a brutal slash and burn job. Keep trying to do away with the funding which makes schools possible.

    Don’t worry, you’re well on the way to doing all those things, destroying the economy and society, Tory. Rejoice!

  23. Newsbot9

    There is a report. It shows that it’s broadly cost-neutral. But the isolationists and xenophobes reject the concept of rational debate on this out of hand. They don’t CARE about the damage they’re causing…

  24. Newsbot9

    Nope, your whacking people is yours, stop trying to say everyone does it!

  25. Mick

    ‘Whacking people like a machine….’

    Well, if you can’t out-argue someone, then simply confuse them with slogans. New Labour had that down to a tee.

    Though I’d ask the likes of John Prescott what whacking people is really about. Or Militant Tendency, another recent group of violent left wing heroes.

  26. Mick

    No, ‘too many white people’ is what the Left say. As Dyke said, and all those other idiots who have been in the news for their racism.

    And I’m glad you said ‘kill them’ rather than us. But we still decline the offer.

  27. Mick

    No, white people aren’t ‘growing’ as such. The growth rate is flatlining, which is one reason we were told we needed open-door immigration. And we’ve had far more than enough to plug the gap between that and the growth we ‘should’ have.

    Well, you may think your comedy cliches are spamming rather nicely. Usually they would, but they’re a good excuse to reply with calm, logical truth.

  28. Newsbot9

    “As such”. Nonsense. The White British population is growing, and poverty is accelerating that trend. And of course you want to plug the people who came here.

    There is no “comedy”, you really *are* dangerous.

  29. Newsbot9

    Nope, you’re trying a reversal of your own views, “too many foreigners”. As ever, it falls flat. And of course you think that I can “decline” your terrorism. Which is up to you.

  30. Newsbot9

    And you’re new Labour now? Ah, right. Keep on confusing right wingers like Prescott with the left, and keep on carefully NOT denying the violence you’ve called for, engaging only in equivalence attacks.

  31. Mick

    I’ve called for no violence. You don’t even know who I am.

    But if I was New Labour, you should be grateful I would have been one of the ones who made your party electable. But as it stands, I’m a passing member of the public looking in to discover the Left. And it’s a real goon show in here.

    BTW, Prescott was indeed a leftist. Look where he came from. Look whose shadow cabinet he was in.

  32. Mick

    If I was reversing my own views I’d be you. A leftbot, more than a Newsbot.

    Can you decline terrorism? It’s up to me to answer for you.

  33. Newsbot9

    So now you’re lying, given you’ve repeatedly done so.

    And of course you think that twisting a party to your ideology makes you “electable”. You keep conflating Labour and the left, and keep claiming that your goons are leftist.

    They’re your goons for a reason.

    And keep spitting at anyone who dares deviate from your far right Party Line.

  34. Newsbot9

    Yes, of course you want to force others to suffer your terrorism, and of course you want to control others. You’re a good little totalitarian like your far right always are.

    Keep claiming that your views, where you double-think to come up with a position as far right as possible…

  35. Lyndel Beckwith

    Hey liberals, seriously, when the Q-tip meets resistance, quit pushing!

  36. Mick

    ‘Ain’t called for no violence’? How do I guess you like Pink Floyd? (‘We don’t need no education…….’)

    The only goons are leftists here. And Labour is leftist, as its history shows.

    And it’s revealing to know that moving in line to meet public opinion is ‘twisting’ Labour. Well, if Labour’s not Left anyway, how it is twisted by moving to the right?

  37. Mick

    You’re keen on calling people terrorists and totalitarians for not agreeing with whatever it is you think.

    And that’s just it – you’ve not told us what you think, you’ve just called names. Any names.

    “Keep claiming that your views, where you double-think to come up with a position as far right as possible…”

    Now you’re making no grammatical sense either. Not just logical sense.

  38. Newsbot9

    Nope, that’s pure extrapolation here. And you’re claiming to be a left winger, and and are denial about labour, which you promptly contradict by saying it’s terrible that they’re not quite close enough to your views for your totalitarianism.

  39. Newsbot9

    Nope, I’m not keen at all. But when you come out…

    Keep lashing out and accusing me of being you. And of course you’re not familiar with Orwell.

  40. Mick

    Ah, equivalence attack! And from my old pal Spambot, how ironic!

    I’ve not accused you of being me! That would be a promotion actually! Poor little Newsbot.

    And I do know Orwell. I take it you’re Napoleon…

  41. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep claiming that going down to your level is a “promotion”, spammer.

    And right, so you don’t have any idea who Orwell is, you’re simply determined to think everyone else is better than you now. Lol.

  42. Mick

    Poor little Newsbot. I never claimed to be left wing.

    And Tory is an insult is it? Still, better than your contradiction of calling me far right before.

  43. Mick

    Poor little Newsbot. You’re the spammer as you never do anything but call names.

    And you don’t even know who Napoleon is in one of Orwell’s most famous books.

    And now you spam yourself, on the board of your own Labour mates!

  44. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep claiming everyone else has your sins, like spamming. Keep claiming normal posting is spamming too.

    And of course I know, as you clearly don’t. Because you’re confusing it with your placing yourself as a real-life “Napoleon”.

  45. Newsbot9

    Except you did. So you’re lying again. Keep assuming everyone is poor and little like you again as well.

    That you find Tory less of an insult that far right, which is a statement of fact, is just funny.

  46. Mick

    Where did I claim to be left wing? Quote me.

    And Tory is less of an insult. Quite a compliment too, for millions of voters.

  47. Mick

    “Yes, keep claiming everyone else has your sins, like spamming. ”

    Well, you’re the one who’s doing it man. I’m just keeping you company. Poor little Newsbot.

    And Napoleon was the pig who thought he knew it all. Ring any bells Spambot?

  48. Newsbot9

    And yes, I’m sure you think it’s not an insult. That’s why you’re in such good company. And no, I am not going to waste my time quoting a statement you made very recently – I am not responsible for your ignorance.

  49. Newsbot9

    Nope, you admitted to spamming. But you didn’t notice that did you? Your English is typically poor. And you’re still convinced everyone is poor and small like you right…you can’t stop making those equivalence attacks!

    And yes yes, you’ve read the wikipedia description now. You’re still thinking you’re the real life one, of course.

  50. Mick

    ” And no, I am not going to waste my time quoting a statement you made very recently”

    That’s cos I never made it! Poor little Newsbot! Again.

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