Long-term migration statistics are produced by the independent Office for National Statistics. The most recent figures estimate that in the year ending June 2016, 113,000 non-EU nationals came to the UK to study; in that same year, 45,000 non-EU nationals who were former students left. For EU nationals, the corresponding figures are 34,000 and 18,000 respectively.
I thank the Minister for that detailed response. I accept that students are classified as immigrants internationally, but when the immigration figures are published, would it not be a good idea to state how many of the people in the figures are students bringing money to this country?
It is certainly very important for family reunification, particularly for spouses, that rules are in place to ensure that these people are not a burden on the taxpayer. Indeed, the levels set are such that if there were a separate figure for Scotland, it would be higher, given that average incomes in Scotland are higher than those in the UK overall.