Manage migration for Britain

There are nearly 200m migrants worldwide. Learn about how we're working closely with the UK Border Agency and other partners to help manage migration to the UK.

Reports on migration policy

Four key strategy documents were produced after the Home Office's review of immigration policy in 2006.

All strategy documents are available to download.

What does the Foreign Office's Migration Directorate do?

We ensure the Foreign Office, using its network of posts and geographical expertise, delivers Government policy on:

  • managing migration
  • protecting genuine refugees
  • reducing abuse of the asylum system
  • controlling our borders against illegal immigration.

Who do we work with?

  • other teams in the Foreign Office with an interest in migration
  • UK Border Agency
  • Department for International Development - on international refugee protection and the links between migration and development
  • a range of non-governmental organisations (known as NGOs)
  • other groups with an interest in migration issues.

Open and welcoming

The UK is an open, tolerant and prosperous country.

We will continue to open our borders to those who bring the skills, talents, business and creativity that contribute to our economy and society. We want to welcome tourists and students to the UK.


We also remain committed to meeting our international obligations for genuine refugees.

This demands that we maintain public confidence in the integrity of our immigration and asylum systems. We will do this through consistent and fair application processes.

Returning people to their country of origin

Discussing migration issues is an important part of the UK Government’s relationship with other countries and one of our top priorities.

We want to work together with other governments to increase the numbers of foreign national prisoners and failed asylum seekers who return to their own countries and remain there.

This process is often complicated because individuals can try to hide their identity and nationality.

In some cases there is a lack of co-operation by the country of origin, despite an obligation to take them back.

Other countries want their nationals to continue travelling to the UK. We ask them to accept their obligations in return.

We work closely with our UK Border Agency colleagues to improve this co-operation and to find ways of securing the quick return of those who have no legal right to remain in the UK.

We help such countries to introduce simple processes for issuing identity and travel documents to those who need them.

Returns and Reintegration Fund

We are launching the Returns and Reintegration Fund to:

  • significantly increase the number of foreign national prisoners and failed asylum seekers who return to their countries of origin
  • ensure those who return voluntarily are effectively re-integrated.

The fund will enable us to support countries which face the biggest challenges in accepting back their nationals. 

We work with other government departments on the fund:

  • UK Border Agency
  • Department for International Development
  • Ministry of Justice

The Fund builds on the former Home Office and FCO Migration Funds.

Migration strategy - UK policy documents

List and summaries of the key documents that form the UK's migration policy.

Our work

Read the latest case studies on our migration work:

India leads the way with new points-based visas

UKVisas: the best in China


The FCO project map has all the latest case studies.

Departmental report

Read more about our work to manage migration in our latest departmental report.

Useful Links

UK Border Agency

FCO in Action map

FCO in action map

We’ve pinned up the latest examples of our work around the world.


Departmental report 2008

Read about our achievements over the past year.

departmental report 2008