How Many Brits Leave the UK Each Year?

How Many Brits Leave the UK Each Year?

Exploring the intricacies of the UK visa system unveils a dynamic landscape of opportunities and challenges for both immigrants and emigrants. With immigration a hot topic in British media and politics, many people are concerned with immigration to the UK seemingly rising with no restraint, although this is usually blown out of proportion. Moreover, very little is talked about British people leaving the UK each year to live and work elsewhere in the world.

Let’s look at how many Brits leave the UK, what their motivation for doing so might be, and how you, as an employer, can plug gaps in your business by getting a sponsorship licence to hire foreign workers.

Why Are People Emigrating from the UK?

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While the UK has many benefits for British citizens and those migrating to the UK for work or study opportunities, there are also plenty of reasons why British citizens are emigrating to a variety of locations around the world.

Some reasons for emigrating from the UK include:

  • Better job opportunities abroad in specific field or for higher salaries
  • Higher quality of life elsewhere including lower costs of living, easier access to healthcare and education
  • Political instability or dissatisfaction with the UK government’s actions and policies
  • To move closer to family
  • Preferable climate or natural environment elsewhere
  • Pursue higher education in prestigious institutions abroad
  • Retirement in sunnier climes or to places with lower costs of living
  • Desire for adventure, such as experiencing a new culture, language or landscape

Personal preference is the overriding theme for reasons why British people may wish to emigrate to other countries, but within that scope there are a multitude of factors at play, from economic and social reasons to environmental and political ones.

How Many Brits Leave the UK Each Year?

How Many Brits Leave the UK Each Year?

The number of British migrants fluctuates each year due to several factors from economics to climate, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a huge influence on global mobility. In the year ending June 2022, around 471,000 British people emigrated to other countries, while up to June 2023, this number rose to 508,000 Brits leaving the UK.

The most popular countries for British people to move to also fluctuate for a variety of reasons, but ultimately depends on personal preference and economic prosperity. However, the most popular countries for Brits to emigrate to consistently includes the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Spain
  • USA
  • France
  • New Zealand

While the majority of British people migrate to other English-speaking countries, Spain and France are very popular destinations for UK expats due to their proximity to the UK and their favourable climates and landscapes, especially for older generations looking to retire in the sun. Australia and America are also popular destinations for these reasons, as well as the fact that migration to these countries has gone on for generations, so many British nationals have family in Australia and the USAa that they often move closer to.

Australia and New Zealand are also popular destinations for younger people who look for a more adventurous or laidback lifestyle, with plenty of outdoor activities and job opportunities in the tourism sector.

Plenty of British nationals also move elsewhere, for example to South Africa, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, for the ease in fitting in with the language as well as the business and education prospects. There are a myriad of reasons for moving to a variety of countries, so ultimately, it comes down to each individual’s personal circumstances and preferences.

What Is the Net Migration Rate in the UK?

Net migration takes into account the number of people leaving the UK and the number of people entering and is usually positive, so the population of the UK is always going up, despite hundreds of thousands of British people leaving the country long-term. Net migration to the UK is reported to be 672,000 by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the year ending in June 2023, just 1% of the UK’s overall population.

How Can You Migrate to the UK?

How Can You Migrate to the UK?

Migrating to the UK typically involves following specific visa and immigration procedures, but the exact process you’ll need to go through depends on several factors, including your nationality, the purpose of your move, and your personal circumstances. Here’s a general overview of some of the more common routes for migrating to the UK:

  • Work Visas, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, Innovator Founder Visa, and Global Talent Visa
  • Study Visas to study at a UK educational institution
  • Family Visas to join a family member who is a British citizen or settled in the UK
  • Asylum and Humanitarian Protection, for individuals fleeing persecution, war, or human rights abuses in their home countries

While there are plenty of different ways in which you can move to the UK, each has a different, stringent application process that requires meeting a number of different eligibility requirements and submitting a variety of documents as supporting evidence. Many visa applications, namely most Work visas and Study visas, also require sponsorship for an approved organisation or institution before the application can be made, so you need to make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements for your chosen visa before starting any kind of application.

Consulting with an immigration lawyer or specialist visa agency can help navigate the complexities of the immigration process.

How Can You Fill Gaps in the UK Job Market?

Addressing skills gaps in the UK job market involves identifying shortages in key sectors and implementing strategies to attract skilled foreign workers.

Encouraging relocation, retaining talent, and investing in domestic talent are all important aspects of filling employment vacancies from a business perspective, and sometimes it pays to gain a sponsorship licence to enable you to invest in foreign talent and bring a new perspective and skills to your business.

By employing skilled foreign workers strategically and alongside efforts to develop domestic talent, the UK can effectively fill gaps in the job market, support economic growth, and remain competitive globally. Regular monitoring and evaluation of immigration policies are crucial to ensure their effectiveness in meeting evolving skills demands.

Getting a Sponsorship Licence

Getting a Sponsorship Licence

You cannot sponsor a worker to the UK, however, without a sponsorship licence. So if you wish to bring a foreign worker to your business, you need to meet specific eligibility criteria, undergo a thorough check of your organisation and pay a licence fee to have a sponsorship application approved by the Home Office.

The whole application process can take a couple of months for your business to be ready to meet the stringent application criteria, as you’ll need a dedicated individual or office within your organisation to deal with the process of sponsoring your foreign workers. However, once you’ve started the application, you should receive a decision from the Home Office within 8 weeks. However, if you’re under pressure to employ someone quickly, you may be able to pay an additional fee to receive a decision within just a couple of working days instead.

For most businesses to qualify for a sponsorship licence, they must:

  • Operate legally and transparently within the UK
  • Effectively comply with British laws regarding immigration and the running of the business including organised record-keeping
  • Show a genuine need to sponsor foreign nationals to work in the business
  • Show evidence of financial viability for the business

Meeting each of these criteria is not easy, but once your organisation meets each of the relevant criteria laid out by the Home Office, the application for a sponsorship licence should be straightforward.

However, since the preparation process can be long-winded and the application expensive, you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Investing in the advice and support of a specialist immigration service can help you make the right decisions and get a successful result at the end.

Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions for Help

If you need help navigating the complicated world of UK visas and sponsorship, don’t go it alone; contact Synergy Immigration Solutions for help.

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