Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that net migration to the UK increased in the year ending December 2012.
The latest figures show net migration rose to 176,000 – compared to the year ending September 2012, when it stood at 153,000.
Some 497,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending December 2012, which is a statistically significant decline from the 566,000 who immigrated during the previous year. This decrease has caused the fall in net migration.
Latest figures show that 321,000 emigrants left the UK in 2012, which is a statistically significant decrease from the 351,000 who emigrated during the previous year.
Immigration of New Commonwealth citizens decreased significantly from 151,000 in the year ending December 2011 to 97,000 in the year ending December 2012.
Last year, 180,000 immigrants arrived in the UK for formal study. This is similar to the 179,000 immigrants who arrived in the UK for work related reasons.
At the same time, 181,000 people migrated away from the UK for work related reasons last year, a statistically significant decrease compared to 201,000 people who emigrated for this reason the year previously.
The number of visas issued, excluding visitor and transit visas, was 501,840 in the year ending June 2013, 4% lower than the previous year (520,073). However, this was slightly up on the year ending March 2013 (499,641).
In the year ending June 2013, there were 204,469 study visas issued (excluding student visitors), a fall of 5% compared with the previous year.
Sponsored study visas applications fell 2% in the year ending June 2013. This change was not uniform, with a 4% increase for the university sector and falls of 25%, 16% and 3%, respectively, for further education, English language schools and independent schools.
At least 562,000 National Insurance numbers (NINos) were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to March 2013, a decrease of 6% on the year to March 2012.