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Undocumented Migrants

Question for Home Office

UIN HL5240, tabled on 10 January 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people living illegally in the UK; which nationality is the most represented among those illegal residents; and whether people overstaying their visas is the main way in which people become illegally resident.

Answered on

24 January 2022

By its very nature, it is not possible to know the exact size of the illegal population and so we do not seek to make any official estimates on this. For the same reason, we cannot know the nationalities or routes to illegal status of the hidden population. The Home Office is, however, conducting analysis to better understand the nature of the illegal migrant population in the United Kingdom and how individuals move in to and out of it.

The vast majority of people leave the UK on time, in line with the expiry of their visa or leave to remain. However, those who have no right to remain in the UK and do not return home voluntarily should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them.

The Government’s New Plan for Immigration will make it harder for people to enter and live in the UK illegally, whilst ensuring that those who do have the right to reside in the UK can do so.

Answered by

Home Office