The Home Office recently released the immigration statistics for the period October – December 2015 – these statistic represent the most up to date data on applications and issuance of visas by the Home Office. The most significant trends are outlined below.
There has been a sharp decrease in the number of Tier 1 Investor visas being granted with figures dropping by 76% (2,287). This has been attributed to the changes introduced in November 2014 which increased the level of investment requirement and placed increased restrictions on the form of investment permitted.
The statistics show an increase of 9% in relation to family visas granted in 2015 as compared to 2014. However, offsetting this, and reflective of the increased difficulty in successfully acquiring a visa for an extended family member or dependent adult, there was a decrease of 12% in 2015 in the number of visas granted to dependents joining migrants in the UK.
The statistics show a slight increase in both Tier 2 skilled work visas (2%) and Tier 5 Youth Mobility and Temporary visas (2%).
Visitor visas to the UK represent another broadly increasing trend, particularly with regards to China. The number of Visitor visas issued to Chinese tourists has almost trebled over the last 5 years, and this growth is a trend that looks set to continue with an increase of 22% in the number of visitor visas granted to Chinese nationals in 2015. The launch of the new two year visitor visa for Chinese nationals at the start of this year should only serve to increase these numbers. Read more about the new two year visa for Chinese nationals here. The number of visitor visas issued to Indian nationals also increased significantly, showing a 15% increase on the previous year. In contrast, the year saw a sharp decline in visitor visas issued to Russian nationals, which has been largely attributed to currency fluctuations.
Alrose Legal would advise any individual to seek professional advice on submitting an application to the Home Office, particularly amidst what appears to be a time of increased restrictions on visas associated with long-term migration to the UK. Please feel free to contact the team at Alrose Legal for further information on info@alroselegal