Analysis of UK Visa Statistics & Immigration Trends 2008-2018

This comprehensive analysis covers UK visa and immigration statistics from 2008 to 2018, encompassing entry clearance, leave to remain (extensions and switching), and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement applications. Over this decade, the Home Office (UKVI) processed a total of 30.28 million entry clearance applications, 3.47 million leave to remain applications (including both extensions and switching), and 1.52 million ILR applications. We will examine the trends, approval rates, and key insights derived from these extensive data, providing valuable context for understanding the UK visa and immigration landscape during this period.

Analysis of UK Visa Statistics & Immigration Trends 2008-2018
A Decade in Review: A Comprehensive Analysis of UK Visa Statistics and Immigration Trends from 2008 to 2018.

During 2008-18, over thirty million (30,253,870) Entry Clearance Visa Applications were submitted from outside the UK. Out of the 30,282,225 applications decided, 26,104,387 visas were granted, 4,006,913 applications were refused, 145,737 applications were withdrawn, and 25,188 applications lapsed. As a result, the UK visa success and refusal rates for all types of entry clearance visa applications during this period were 86.20% and 13.23%, respectively.

Contrary to general perception, the number of UK entry clearance visa applications and success rates have shown an upward trend in recent years. The highest number of applications, 3.29 million and 3.06 million, were made in 2018 and 2017, marking a 19.67% and 11.30% increase over the 10-year average of 2.75 million applications per year. The UK visa success rates for 2017 and 2018 were 88.74% and 88.20%, respectively, more than 2% higher than the period’s average of 86.20%. The UK visa refusal rates for 2017 and 2018 were 10.95% and 11.54%, respectively, lower than the period’s average of 13.23%.

This data highlights a significant improvement in both the number of applications and success rates, indicating a more favorable environment for UK visa applicants in recent years. It also suggests that the UK visa application process has become more efficient and accessible, as well as applicants being better prepared and meeting the necessary requirements.

YearUK Visa Refusal Rate
Decade in Review: Analyzing UK Visa Statistics and Immigration Trends through Refusal Rates from 2008-2018.

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    2. UK Visa Statistics 2008-2018 for Leave to Remain Applications

    Between 2008 and 2018, the Home Office made decisions on 3,478,048 leave to remain and extension applications. Out of these, 2,990,092 were granted leave to remain, while 487,956 applications were refused. Consequently, the success and refusal rates for leave to remain (extension and switching) from inside the UK were 85.97% and 16.32%, respectively.
    Analyzing the data in the table, it is evident that the refusal rate for leave to remain applications has experienced fluctuations over the years.

    Between 2008 and 2012, the refusal rate generally decreased, with the lowest rate of 6.75% in 2008 and the highest rate of 16.78% in 2010. However, the refusal rate surged to 22.30% in 2013 before gradually decreasing to its lowest point in the period, 8.30%, in 2017. The refusal rate increased slightly to 8.77% in 2018.

    The decline in refusal rates, particularly since 2013, indicates a possible improvement in the evaluation process for leave to remain applications or a better understanding of the requirements by applicants. The overall trend suggests that applicants have been more successful in recent years at securing leave to remain status, compared to earlier years in the period.

    YearLeave to Remain Refusal Rate
    Decade in Review: Analyzing UK Visa Statistics for Leave to Remain Applications through Refusal Rates from 2008-2018.

    3. UK Visa and Immigration Statistics: ILR

    Between 2008 and 2018, the Home Office made decisions on 1.52 million ILR applications under four broad categories:

    1. Work
    2. Asylum
    3. Family Formation and Reunion (Spouse and Dependants)
    4. Other

    During this period, the Home Office granted 1.44 million (i.e., 1,447,513) Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications and refused 75,079 ILR applications. As a result, the ILR success and refusal rates were 95.07% and 5.19%, respectively.

    Although the ILR success rate has fluctuated within a relatively narrow range, some notable changes have occurred. In 2013, the ILR success rate reached a peak of 96.94% but dropped to its lowest point of 91.89% in 2016. Subsequently, the ILR success rate improved in 2017 and 2018, reaching 94.65% and 95.69%, respectively. This upward trend in recent years is encouraging for prospective ILR applicants.

    The data suggests that the Home Office has been consistent in granting ILR status over the years, with minor fluctuations. It is worth noting that the relatively high success rate for ILR applications compared to entry clearance and leave to remain applications indicates that applicants who meet the requirements and have a genuine case for ILR have a strong chance of approval.

    YearILR Acceptance Rate
    Decade in Review: Analyzing UK Visa Statistics for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Applications through Acceptance Rates from 2008-2018.

    4. Conclusion

    In conclusion, the UK visa statistics and immigration trends from 2008-2018 reveal interesting trends and patterns in entry clearance, leave to remain, extensions, and settlement (ILR) applications. The overall success rates for entry clearance visas and ILR applications show an upward trend in recent years, indicating that genuine applicants have better chances of securing a UK visa or ILR status. Meanwhile, the refusal rates have been decreasing, reflecting improvements in the application process and compliance with immigration rules.

    The data highlights the importance of understanding the requirements and procedures for different types of UK visa applications. It also underlines the significance of providing accurate and complete information, as well as the need for applicants to familiarize themselves with the immigration rules and regulations.

    In light of these statistics, prospective applicants can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions when applying for a UK visa or ILR. It is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest immigration rules and trends, as well as to seek professional advice or assistance if needed, to maximize the chances of success in any UK visa or immigration application.

    For further details please refer to UK Visa Statistics 2023, UK Visa Success Rate 2021, UK Visa Rejection Rate 2020, and UK Government’s Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release.