The number of people entering Britain increased by 62,000 while the number emigrating fell by 20,000 compared to the same time last year, creating an overall rise in net migration.
Both EU and non-EU citizens arriving in the country contributed to the rise. The majority of people coming to the UK came for work or study, the Office of National Statistics said. Foreign nationals accounted for three-quarters of employment growth over the last year.
David Cameron has promised to shrink the number of migrants to the UK, however businesses have warned that tightened immigration rules are bad for the economy and British business.
The news comes as a new survey from the Institute of Directors found more than half of business leaders said they employed people from outside the UK, while nine in 10 of those said they were also investing in training workers from Britain.
IoD director general Simon Walker said: "The bluster around these latest immigration statistics proves, once more, that Britain’s immigration system is not fit for purpose. Businesses find it restrictive, burdensome and crude.
"The public worry that new arrivals place pressure on schools, hospitals and communities. And the government is obsessed with the numbers game – chasing an arbitrary net migration target which made a good sound bite but has no basis in logic."