There has been a lot of attention paid to the migration figures released last week. However most of this focussed on the increase in European immigration to the UK, particularly from Bulgaria and Romania.
This ignores what is going on in the Commonwealth. The headline figures were encouraging with a 20,000 increase in just three months. However this is still well below previous peaks and only half of what it was a decade ago:
What is particularly concerning is that 25% of the increase in the net figure is down to a fall in Brits moving to other Commonwealth countries. All of our proposals to fix Commonwealth migration and visas are based on reciprocity. It is vital that Commonwealth migration remains a two way street so that every citizen can benefit from all the network has to offer. However the latest figures are the lowest they have been since at least December 2004 (the earliest point in this dataset).
However it is great to see more Commonwealth citizens to the UK. In particular, it is welcome to see an increase in those coming here with a definite job offer, up nearly two thirds on a year ago and finally back to the levels last seen before the financial crisis.
All in all, they are encouraging figures but there is a lot of work still to do. We again call on the UK Government to adopt the proposals outline in our report "How to Solve a Problem Like a Visa" to ensure that Commonwealth citizens are able to move as freely as possible around the Commonwealth.