HALF a million more people came to live in the UK last year than left, stats show.
The figure, close to the population of Liverpool, smashes all net migration records.
It is more than three times the previous year and the biggest influx since World War Two — and does not include the 35,000 who arrived across the Channel in small boats.
Office for National Statistics data suggests about 504,000 more people are said to have moved to the UK than left in the 12 months to June 2022.
It came despite ministers promising to get the net migration figure down to the tens of thousands.
A total of 1.1million people are likely to have migrated to the UK in the year to June, with most — 704,000 — from outside the EU.
By contrast, 560,000 are thought to have left the UK in the same period, almost half of them — 275,000 — going back to the EU.
The 277,000 who arrived on study visas accounted for the largest proportion of long-term immigration of non-EU nationals.
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It was up from 143,000 in the previous 12 months.
The number of non-EU nationals arriving for work reasons in the 12 months is estimated at 151,000, up from 92,000 in the previous year.
The ONS tonight confirmed net long-term migration was at its highest since records began in 1964.
It said: “A series of world events have impacted international migration patterns in the 12 months to June 2022. Taken together these were unprecedented.
“Migration from non-EU countries, specifically students, is driving this rise.
“With the lifting of travel restrictions in 2021, more students arrived in the UK after studying remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
But the ONS said it was too early to say whether the figure would remain that high.
Last night, Downing Street insisted that it remained its goal to reduce net migration to five figures and hinted at a crackdown on student visas.
No10 blamed “unique and unprecedented circumstances” with instability around the world but also suggested students were being accompanied by dependents and arriving for low-quality degrees.
Asked when the Government would get control of the borders back, the PM’s official spokesman admitted the system was broken.
But he added: “The PM has emphasised that this is a priority on which he is spending a substantial amount of his time.
“He has been clear that he wants to further grip the issue, particularly of illegal immigration.”
Separate Home Office data showed 72,027 asylum-seekers arrived in the 12 months ending September 2022.
It is more than double the number in 2019 and has hit a peak not seen since 2003.
Last night, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “We have welcomed hundreds of thousands of people to Britain this year following the devastating war in Ukraine, the evacuation from Afghanistan and the despicable crackdown on democratic rights in Hong Kong.
“Therefore, it is understandable that we have seen a record number of people to coming our country thanks to the generosity of the British people.
“But the public rightly expect us to control our borders and we remain committed to reducing migration over time in line with our manifesto commitment.
“This level of migration has put pressure on accommodation and housing supply, health, education and other public services.
“We must ensure we have a sustainable, balanced and controlled approach.
“My priority remains tackling the rise in dangerous and illegal crossings and stopping the abuse of our system.
“It is vital we restore public confidence and take back control of our borders.”
Meanwhile, as small boats continue to cross the Channel, polling showed concern about immigration has soared to its highest level in more than three years.
In a poll by Ipsos, one in five people listed immigration as one of the most important issues facing Britain today.
It is up from one in ten in October and the highest level recorded since March 2019.
Conservative supporters were especially concerned about immigration, with 42 per cent listing it.
NEARLY half of all this summer’s arrivals by small boat were Albanian nationals.
On some days that figure reached 80 per cent.
And figures for the first nine months of the year showed just over a third of those who crossed the Channel to get to the UK were from the eastern European country.
In 2021 just three per cent of arrivals were from Albania.
Analysis of Home Office figures reveals 35,345 small boat arrivals between October last year and the end of August with 31,891 claiming asylum.
Only two per cent have so far had an initial decision.
Ministers have been in close talks with the Albanian government working on a fast-track system for those making the journey.
Migrants who refused asylum last month were told by immigration officers that they were liable for removal and driven to Stansted airport for a flight to the capital Tirana.
Meanwhile, there are still 9,242 Afghan refugees staying in 63 hotels, 15 months after the evacuation. Around half are children.
Home Office figures show 7,572 have moved into a private home with 779 finding a place to live and are ready to move in.
The figures do not include families who have made their own accommodation arrangements.
NIGEL Farage will field a full slate of Reform UK candidates at the next election after the continued failure to deal with the small boats crisis.
The ex-Brexit Party chief will not stand aside in any constituency as his fury grows over Ministers spending up to £7million a day on hotels for migrants.
He said: “Most Brexiteers did not vote in 2016 for thousands of people to turn up in the UK uninvited and have public funds lavished on them in this way.”
Candidates were not fielded in 317 Tory-won seats at the 2019 election.
Farage added: “The Conservative Party needs to understand just how many people in this country now believe that it is the problem and not the solution.”