Birmingham and UK - facts about migration


An Asylum seeker is someone who has asked the Home Office for their permission to stay in the UK because they fear for their safety in their home country. They come from countries where there is war, political repression or a breakdown in government such as Somalia, Iran, China, Iraq, Eritrea or Afghanistan.

If a person has a well-founded fear of persecution they will be given "refugee status" and allowed to stay for 5 years until their case is reviewed.

If it is too dangerous for a person to return to their home country for some other reason they may be given "humanitarian protection" or "discretionary leave" to remain for up to 5 years.

Some facts and statistics

  • In June 2010, there were just 2,111 asylum seekers in Birmingham
  • Between 2001 and 2005, 67,237 overseas trained nurses registered in the UK
  • In 2004, 26,568 health workers from abroad were given work permits because of shortages in the Health Service
  • The number of people seeking asylum in the UK has dropped since 2002. In 2005, just 25,710 people claimed asylum in the UK.
  • The UK is 13th out of 25 European countries according to the number of asylum seekers per head of population.
  • 80% of the world's 21 million refugees live in camps in neighbouring countries. Europe is host to just 14% of all refugees and the UK to less than 2%.
  • In 2008, 112,000 people were given work permits to enter the UK compared with just 31,000 seeking asylum (including dependents)
  • In 2008, 35,000 work permits were given to people from the Americas.

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