Perhaps, most of the applicants are quite interested in knowing the details of UK visa and immigration statistics. Therefore, the post provides the UK visa statistics, success and refusal rates for entry clearance, leave to remain, extension and ILR (settlement) applications from 2008 to 2018.

UK Visa Statistics for Entry Clearance Applications 2008-18

According to the Official Statistics as many as more than 30.25 million (i.e. 30,253,870) Entry Clearance Applications were made from outside the UK during 2008-2018. And 145,737 and 25,188 entry clearance applications were withdrawn or lapsed. Accordingly, during the period 30.28 m (i.e. 30,282,225) applications decided, 26.104 m (i.e. 26,104,387) visas granted and more than 4 m (i.e. 4,006,913) applications refusedTherefore, the overall UK visa success and refusal rate for all types of UK entry clearance visa applications from outside the UK was 86.20% and 13.23%, respectively.

UK visa statistics reveal a rise in applications and success rate

Perhaps, contrary to the general perception, the number of UK entry clearance applications and success rate is showing an upward in recent years. Accordingly, the most number of 3.29 m and 3.06 m applications were made in 2018 and 2017, which is nearly 19.67% and 11.30% higher than the average 2.75 m applications per year during the 2008-18 period. Moreover, the UK visa success rate success rate during 2017 and 2018 was 88.74% and 88.20%, which is more than 2% higher than the period average of 86.20%.

In recent years the UK visa refusal rate is less than 12%

According to UK visa entry clearance statistics, the UK visa refusal rate during 2017 and 2018 was 10.95% and 11.54%, respectively, which is substantially lower than the period average of 13.23%.

YearApplicationsDecisionsGrantsRefusalsSuccess RateRefusal Rate
20082,440,3692,402,4751,954,605428,60381.36%17.84%
20092,447,3912,449,5871,995,353428,27481.46%17.48%
20102,529,9622,553,7492,144,621379,45683.98%14.86%
20112,607,1422,616,3502,275,417320,77186.97%12.26%
20122,561,6232,569,6952,228,762325,65986.73%12.67%
20132,830,0122,840,7922,496,488331,74987.88%11.68%
20142,748,3482,770,8962,448,563308,48388.37%11.13%
20152,840,3902,849,8802,468,347372,23786.61%13.06%
20162,896,1572,883,4312,478,973397,56785.97%13.79%
20173,061,1063,051,3042,707,867334,03388.74%10.95%
20183,291,3703,294,0662,905,391380,08188.20%11.54%
UK Visas and Immigration Entry Clearance Statistics 2008-2018

Leave to remain and extension statistics 2008-18

During 2008-18, a total of 3.47 m (i.e. 3,478,048) leave to remain and extension applications were decided. Accordingly, during the period 2.99 m (i.e. 2,990,092) leave to remain and extensions granted and more than 0.48 m (i.e. 487,956) applications refusedTherefore, the overall leave to remain and extension success and refusal rate from inside the UK was 85.97% and 16.32%, respectively.

Leave to Remain and Extension Applications and Success Rate

According to UK visa statistics, the extension grants were highest in 2008 (362,859) and the average for the period 2008-18 is 316,186 per year. However, since 2010, only in 2013 the total extension grants came near to this average. Therefore, during 2008-18, leave to remain and extension grants experienced an overall declining trend.

In 2013, a total of 306,598 extensions were granted with a success rate of 77.70%. Afterwards, in 2014, the number of extension grants reduced quite dramatically to reach a level of 236,740. However, the success rate (81.53%) slightly improved in 2014. Moreover, the extension grants continued a downward trend in the next couple of years to reach the lowest ebb (199,256) in 2016.

A resurgence in UK visa extension applications success rate

However, during 2017 and 2018, there has been an increase in the number of extension grants. Accordingly, the number of extension grants increased to 213,555 and 250,421 in 2017 and 2018 with a success rate of 91.70% and 91.23%, respectively. Apparently, during the 2008-18 period, the average yearly success rate was 85.97%, which was highest in 2008 (93.25%) and lowest in 2013 (77.70%). Therefore, the UK visa extension success rate during 2017 and 2018 is higher than the period average of 85.97%, which is good news for prospective applicants. 

A single-digit UK visa extension refusal rate in recent years

According to UK visa extension statistics, the UK visa refusal rate during 2017 and 2018 was 8.30% and 8.77%, respectively, which is nearly half of the period average of 16.32%.

YearDecisionsGrantsRefusalsSuccess RateRefusal Rate
2008389,145362,85926,28693.25%6.75%
2009393,854333,97959,87584.80%15.20%
2010371,868309,47562,39383.22%16.78%
2011347,637299,60048,03786.18%13.82%
2012291,827261,81030,01789.71%10.29%
2013394,592306,59887,99477.70%22.30%
2014290,377236,74053,63781.53%18.47%
2015262,470215,79946,67182.22%17.78%
2016228,914199,25629,65887.04%12.96%
2017232,884213,55519,32991.70%8.30%
2018274,480250,42124,05991.23%8.77%
UK Visa Statistics: Leave to Remain and Extension Applications 2008-18

ILR statistics, success and refusal rate 2008-18

In fact, during 2008-18, the Home Office decided a total of 1.52 m ILR applications under the four broad categories i.e.

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

Accordingly, during the period, the Home Office granted 1.44 m (i.e.1,447,513) Indefinite leave to remain (ILR). And refused more than 75,079 ILR applicationsTherefore, the overall ILR success and refusal rate was 95.07% and 5.19%, respectively.

ILR applications and success rate

The UK settlement visa statistics reveals that the Home Office granted the highest number of ILR in 2010 (241,192). However, the period average is 131,592 ILR grants per year. In fact, since 2011, only in 2013 the total ILR grants (154,701) were higher than the period average of 131,592. Therefore, during 2008-18, ILR grants experienced an overall declining trend.

Apparently, the ILR average success rate for the 2008-18 period was  95.07%. However, it has oscillated within a narrow band during the period. Accordingly, in 2013 the ILR success rate was the highest (96.94%) and lowest (91.89%) in 2016. Afterwards, in 2017 and 2018 the ILR success rate has slightly improved to reach a level of 94.65% and 95.69%, respectively. Certainly, this is good news for prospective ILR applicants.

The UK ILR application refusal rate is usually less than 5%

According to UK settlement visa statistics, the average ILR refusal rate for the 2008-18 period is 5.19%. Perhaps, in 2016 the ILR refusal rate shot to 8.11%. However, subsequently in 2018 came down to 4.31%, which is less than the period average of 5.19%.

YearDecisionsGrantsILR RefusedILR Acceptance RateRefusal Rate
2008158,278148,9369,34294.10%5.90%
2009207,341194,78112,56093.94%6.06%
2010252,326241,19211,13495.59%4.41%
2011174,933166,8788,05595.40%4.60%
2012133,850129,7494,10196.94%3.06%
2013161,375154,7016,67495.86%4.14%
2014109,072104,0575,01595.40%4.60%
201595,92290,8395,08394.70%5.30%
201666,02460,6705,35491.89%8.11%
201768,78165,1023,67994.65%5.35%
201894,69090,6084,08295.69%4.31%

UK visa statistics for four broad ILR routes

According to UK settlement visa statistics, during 2008-18, the most number of grants, nearly 38.8% (561,535) of the total grants, made under the work category. Moreover, the number of family formation and reunion related ILR grants account for 435,681, with a share of 30.1%. The number of asylum-related ILR grants accounts for 151,699, with a share of 10.5% in total grants. Perhaps, all the residual ILR grants, which do not fit into the preceding 3 categories are lumped in “other” category. Moreover, the UK settlement visa statistics do not provide further details of the “other” category, apart from the fact that 298,598 ILR grants made under the “other” category, which constitutes 20.6% of the total ILR grants.

Yearly ILR grants in the four broad categories

Apparently, the UK settlement visa statistics reveals that the total ILR grants after reaching a level of 241,192, kept a downward trajectory. However, after reaching the lowest ebb (60,670) in 2016 slightly increased to 65,102 in 2017. And in 2018 ILR grants significantly increased to reach a level of 90,608. The decreasing trend of the ILR grants is mainly due to an astonishing fall in the work and family-related grants.

A significant decrease in work and family grants

Perhaps, due to restriction on immigration routes, the work-related grants decreased from 84,347 in 2010 to merely 18,104 in 2017. However, in 2018 the work-related ILR grants slightly increased to 23,913. Similarly, family-related grants decreased from 72,239 in 2009 to its lowest ebb of 5,420 in 2017. However, according to UK settlement visa statistics, in 2018 the family-related grants increased considerably to reach a level of 15,751.

A substantial increase in asylum grants

However, quite surprisingly the number of asylum-related ILR grants indicates an upward trend during the 2008-18 period. Apparently, in 2008 the number of asylum-related ILR grants was only 2,824, which increased quite significantly to reach its zenith of 25,243 in 2018. 

YearWorkAsylumFamily Formation and ReunionOtherTotal
200860,7682,82455,34829,996148,936
200981,1853,11072,23938,247194,781
201084,3474,93169,22882,686241,192
201169,89213,00354,08629,897166,878
201262,19511,43447,3748,746129,749
201359,28821,27459,65414,485154,701
201438,71217,80132,84614,698104,057
201539,79118,89516,80815,34590,839
201623,34014,4546,92715,94960,670
201718,10418,7305,42022,84865,102
201823,91325,24315,75125,70190,608
ILR Grants by Broad Categories

Perhaps, due to restriction on immigration routes, the work-related grants decreased from 84,347 in 2010 to merely 18,104 in 2017. However, in 2018 the work-related ILR grants slightly increased to 23,913.

YearTotalMainDependantsDependant to Main Applicants Ratio
200860,76827,42833,3401.22
200981,18534,27446,9111.37
201084,34737,46446,8831.25
201169,89233,60336,2891.08
201262,19531,47630,7190.98
201359,28832,05627,2320.85
201438,71221,78816,9240.78
201539,79122,88116,9100.74
201623,34014,2869,0540.63
201718,10411,5026,6020.57
201823,91314,3879,5260.66
Work Related ILR Grants – Main Applicants and Dependants

According to the UK settlement visa statistics, during 2008-18, the Home Office granted a total of 561,535 work-related grants in the following categories:

  1. Employment with a work permit – 241,807
  2. Tier 1 High-Value Migrants – 144,638
  3. PBS Tier 2 Sponsored with a job – 100,803
  4. Tier 5 Temporary workers and Youth Mobility – 61
  5. Permit-free employment, businessman, persons of independent means – 45,826
  6. Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent – 28,400
YearEmployment with a work permitTier 1 High Value MigrantsTier 2 Sponsored with a jobTier 5 Temporary workers and Youth MobilityPermit-free employment, Businessman, persons of independent meansCommonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent
200853,8468003,8553,059
200962,2353,8291,022011,1572,942
201054,7188,2136,676111,7822,957
201133,31119,0099,29814,8723,401
201220,07127,5869,04032,5182,977
201313,94727,73310,32153,1354,147
20142,63720,47911,16332,0682,362
201542118,81816,434122,3741,732
201619310,6579,344191,5521,575
20172483,75310,84891,7561,490
20181804,55316,65787571,758
Work Related ILR Grants by Category