Net migration to the United Kingdom rose to a record high of around 504,000 in the year to June 2022, official statistics showed on Thursday, driven by an increase in the number of non-European Union nationals.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said a recovery of travel following COVID-19, and an increase in arrivals of international students who had been studying remotely during the pandemic had contributed to the rise.
An estimated 1.1 million long-term immigrants arrived over the period, up 435,000 on the previous year. The biggest proportion of those leaving Britain were EU nationals.
Three new visa schemes – for Ukrainians, Afghans and Hong Kong British nationals – together added around 138,000 to the number of arrivals.
“A series of world events have impacted international migration patterns in the 12 months to June 2022. Taken together these were unprecedented,” Jay Lindop, Director of the ONS Centre for International Migration, said.
“Migration from non-EU countries, specifically students, is driving this rise,” Lindop added. “The many factors independent of each other contributing to migration at this time mean it is too early to say whether this picture will be sustained”, he added.