3 April 2014

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to record the departure of non-EU students as they leave the UK at the end of their studies.

James Brokenshire (Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration); Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)

The Office for National Statistics long-term international migration data include estimates of the numbers of students leaving the UK. At the request of the Home Office and other migration statistics users, the ONS has improved its methodology with an aim to identify emigrants who had originally arrived as students. This has assisted in assessing the contribution of students to overall net migration. It is estimated that 49,000 non-EU migrants, who had previously immigrated for study, had emigrated from the UK in the year ending September 2013.

HM Government has made a commitment to reintroduce exit checks. By 2015, we will have checks in place on those who leave the UK by scheduled international air, sea and rail services. Introducing exit checks will improve our ability to confirm departure and to identify those who have failed to leave the UK when they should have done so.

(Citation: HC Deb, 3 April 2014, c740W)