Immigration Statistics, Year Ending March 2018

How Many People were Detained or Returned?

In year ending March 2018, 26,541 individuals entered the detention estate (down 8% compared with the previous year) and 27,429 left the detention estate (down 5%).

At the end of March 2018, there were 2,400 persons held in the detention estate (excluding HM Prisons), a fall of 18% compared with 12 months earlier. Additionally, 358 individuals were held in immigration detention in HM Prisons.

The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 9% to 11,621 in year ending March 2018 compared with 12,766 in the previous year.

Provisional data show that 5,630 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) were returned in year ending March 2018, down 11% compared to 6,346 in the previous year; of these:

  • 66% were EU nationals (3,694)
  • 34% were non-EU nationals (1,936)

How Many People Did the UK Grant Asylum or Protection to?

In the year ending March 2018, there were 14,166 grants of asylum, alternative forms of protection and resettlement, down 11% compared with 15,973 in the previous year. This comprised:

  • 6,865 grants of asylum to main applicants and dependants (down 17%)
  • 1,541 grants of alternative form of protection to main applicants and their dependants (up 16%)
  • 5,760 people provided with protection under a resettlement scheme (down 9%)

Of the 14,166 people granted asylum, protection and resettlement, 5,953 (42%) were children (under 18 years old).

Additionally, 5,874 Family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, a 2% increase since last year. Of these, 2,883 (49%) were issued to children.

The number of asylum applications in the UK from main applicants decreased by 8% to 26,547 in the year ending March 2018. The fall in asylum applications reflects a return to levels seen before the European migration crisis in 2015. The falls are consistent with what has been seen more widely across Europe, with a decrease of around 41% in applications to EU countries in the last year.

There were 774 grants of asylum or alternative forms of protection to Syrian nationals (including dependants) at initial decision in the year ending March 2018 (down 49%).

A total of 5,760 people were resettled in the UK in the year ending March 2018 under various schemes. This included 4,342 Syrian nationals who were provided protection under the Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), bringing the total number of Syrians provided protection to 11,649 since the scheme began in 2014.

How Many People Were Allowed to Continue Their Stay In The UK?

There were 163,817 main applicants granted an extension to their stay in 2017 (the latest available data by previous reason for stay).

  • 79% allowed the individual to stay within their previous broad reason for stay (129,608)
  • 21% switched categories (34,209)

There were 71,676 people granted permission to stay permanently in the UK in the year ending March 2018, 23% more than in the previous year. The number of grants is low relative to the peak in the year ending September 2010 (241,586).

In the year ending March 2018, 141,883 documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards were issued to EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members. The majority of these (88%) were issued to EU nationals. This is fewer than the highest recorded figure for the year ending December 2017 (168,413) reflecting quarter-on-quarter falls in decisions from a peak of 51,466 in the first quarter of 2017 to 24,886 in the last quarter.

Total applications for British citizenship rose by 6% to 140,073 in the year ending March 2018 compared to the previous year. This was 40% lower than the peak in 2013 (232,262). Within the total, applications made by non-EU nationals fell by 10,195 to 99,617, and applications by EU nationals almost doubled, up 18,302 to 40,456.

Source: UK Home Office,

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