Pressures from record migration 'show no sign of abating'

  • Home Office migration data published today and covering the whole of 2023 shows that pressures from unprecedented levels of immigration are not abating. 
  • Overall, the number of (non-visitor, non-temporary) visas issued rose only marginally (by 1%) in 2023 compared to 2022 – to a new record of 1.36 million visas.
  • However, the underlying trend is obscured by a sharp drop (-77%) in visas being issued to migrants on the Ukraine and Hong Kong routes. 
  • In fact, the number of visas issued on core work, study and family routes increased by 19% (202,0000) in 2023, to a record 1.29 million (compared to 1.09 million in 2022).
  • At the same time, the number of visa extensions surged by 22% in 2023, to a record 686,000
Responding to the latest visa data released today by the Home Office, CPS Research Director Karl Williams said:

‘The latest Home Office data may, at first glance, contain signs that we have reached peak migration. But looking beyond the headlines, we can see that there was a sharp fall in visas issued to migrants from Ukraine and Hong Kong. The number of visas issued on core work, study and family routes increased by 19% in 2023, to a record 1.29 million, up from 1.09 million in 2022.

‘Previous analysis by the CPS has found that, based on ONS population projections, we will need to build at least 5.7 million homes in England over 15 years, with net migration accounting for 41% of this figure (2.34 million homes). Based on figures announced today, the pressures from record migration – on schools, hospitals, and on housing – show no signs of abating.’



Notes to Editor

  • Karl Williams is Research Director at the Centre for Policy Studies.
  • Previous analysis of the impact of net migration on housing was published by the CPS in January 2024 and November 2023 
  • Karl Williams is available for interview. For further information, please contact Josh Coupland on 07912 485655 and [email protected].
  • The Centre for Policy Studies is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in Westminster. With a focus on taxation, economic growth, business, welfare, education, housing and green growth, its goal is to develop policies that widen enterprise, ownership and opportunity.

Date Added: Thursday 29th February 2024