In an effort to control UK immigration and a massive influx of foreign workers flooding the market, often to reap the benefits of a socialised society, the UK Border Agency has introduced the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill to parliament. With the new Bill set to clamp down on the residency rights of migrants, it has been reported that foreigners residing in the UK may face an additional 3 years in the run up to attain British citizenship.
According to expert immigration and financial services group 1st Contact, this will have a significant impact on migrants who have entered the UK on temporary visas, who will now have to face the fate of remaining in the UK for up to 8 years to attain their British passports and full citizenship rights. 1st Contact explains that the Bill could come in to effect as early as April 2009, but the implementation date is yet to be confirmed. Migrants who have resided in the UK for the qualifying period of their temporary residence will move into a period of ‘probationary citizenship’ for an additional 3 years, after which they will be evaluated by the state for full British citizenship and the benefits it bestows. The Bill is set to enforce a set of criteria for migrants to speak English and demonstrate their lawfulness and contribution to the community in proving their active state of citizenship.
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:
“We are clear that newcomers should speak English, work hard, and earn the right to stay here – and only get British citizenship once they have proved their commitment to the country. Migration only works if it brings benefits, and these measures will ensure that only those migrants that make a positive impact on their local community will be able to stay in the UK.”
With much speculation existing around the possible implementation of the Bill in April 2009, 1st Contact urges individuals who are eligible for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain), commonly referred to as permanent residency, or naturalisation to apply before the Bill comes into effect.
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