Graeme Wilson, The Sun, February 28, 2013
Britain’s net migration has plunged by a third after a clampdown on visas for bogus students, it emerged yesterday.
In just a year the number of people coming here compared to those leaving fell by 84,000 — the biggest drop since records began in 1991.
There was a 20 per cent reduction in visas for foreign students, including a 69 per cent drop for English language colleges to 3,589.
There was also a 62 per cent visa fall for further education colleges to 31,587. But visas for universities were up three per cent to 156,537, the Office for National Statistics figures reveal.
The total number of immigrants coming to Britain fell from 589,000 to 515,000.
And the number of migrants saying “Hasta la vista” to the UK rose from 342,000 to 352,000. That gives a net migration figure in the year to June 2012 of 163,000 — down from 247,000 in 2011. Immigrants from Eastern Europe dropped from 86,000 to 62,000 and from countries like India and Pakistan from 168,000 to 117,000.
Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed to cut net migration to the “tens of thousands”. Last night Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “Our tough reforms are having an impact.”