Work permits system is ‘working well’

Almost
110,000 work permit holders and their dependants were admitted to the UK in
2001, up 19 per cent from the previous year.

The
government says the immigration statistics, published this week, show the Work
Permits UK system is working well.

Other
findings include:


more students admitted – 339,000 students in 2001, 8 per cent more than in 2000


more extensions of stay for work permit holders – 65 per cent more granted or
51,415 extensions (excluding dependants)


fewer grants of settlement – 106,820, 15 per cent less than in 2000, mainly
reflecting an expected fall in asylum-related settlement


more returns – 49,135 persons were removed from the UK, or departed
voluntarily, 5 per cent more than in 2000


fewer arrivals – 88.1 million international arrivals to the UK in 2001, 1.1
million fewer than in 2000

Commenting
on the statistics, Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes said: "These
statistics should help dispel the myth of a Fortress Britain. They are
testimony to the effectiveness of the UK’s modernised and streamlined work
permits system, which enables increasing numbers of non-EEA nationals to come
here to work legally."

By Quentin Reade

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