UK Clamps Down on Citizenship Law

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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  • L

    "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."

    What about the people who already speak english. This is totally unfair to the people who have already been here for a number of years.

    "In an effort to control UK immigration and a massive influx of foreign workers flooding the market."

    The UK are still going to get people coming in from the EU. What about them??? The UK have allowed people who have been unlawful in there home countries and still they come in and work.

  • Ash

    Hi, I assume this applies only for the people who are going to get granted their work visa from april 2009 instead for the people who are already residing in the country under HSMP and Work Permits. In my case I have spent 1 and half years on tudent visa and two years on SMP and I am now due for my extn. After my extn. I will get another 3 years on HSMP. Can you please advise how this new rules may change my status.

    Help much appreciated,
    Ash

  • eduardo lopez

    The Home Office thinks that Migrants are merchandise to profit, but they are wrong,there’s a Human’s Right legislation that they can’t ignore. If things are going wrong in the UK economy is certainly not because of migrants, better see the way Labour’s are leading the country.

    Regards:
    Dr.Eduardo Lopez-Gonzalez

  • Andrew

    That is stupid. Most migrants come from the EU and will continue too. Where is the checks on them to speak english and be able to make a positive impact to the UK. Yet people from New Zealand for example, who are part of the commonweath and who are suppose to have the same queen, struggle to stay here permanent. Does anyone else not find it strange Germans who started a world war and flattened London with Bombs come and go yet the commonweath countries that aided in that war with the UK are not!

    World’s Screwed.

  • Bryan

    Hi, I am on an ancestry visa also due for my extn year in June. Does this new bill apply to all visas in the UK.

    Bryan

  • Ruan

    Hi

    I did a bit of digging around and have found numerous articles that all lead to the same thing. The additional 3 years mentioned above is kinda misleading, as it is anything from a year up to 3 years depending on behaviour and effort to integrate.

    Taken from ukimmigration:

    "Skilled Migrants wishing to gain UK citizenship may have to wait at least a year as "probationary citizens".

    "Migrants will be expected to make an effort to integrate. Those committing criminal offences will have to wait longer to gain UK citizenship. UK Border Agency will be able to shorten or increase the qualifying period for naturalisation depending on the behaviour of the migrant. It is expected that the waiting period will be from one to three years."

    Unfortunately this seems like it will have an effect on anyone who has not applied for permanent settlement yet, but as a plus point I think it is not worth worrying too much at this stage. The proposals were part of a government green paper, which is just a lengthy proposal. It will take years to implement this plan, even if it is quickly passed by the Parliament.

  • paulin

    i would like to do have limit of age to get permits to work in uk?

  • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com/ Stephen Atkinson

    Hello,

    The Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill was introduced to parliament on 14/01/2009. Essentially, it states that migrants must ‘earn’ their citizenship of the United Kingdom, including all the benefits this bestows.

    The Bill calls for migrants to spend up to 3 years as probationary citizens on completion of their temporary visa qualifying period, before being eligible for full citizenship. Only once a migrant obtains full citizenship will they be eligible for a UK passport. The 3 year period can be reduced based on certain factors yet to be confirmed.

    As the Bill is still to be passed in its finality by parliament, 1st Contact is unable to speculate any further on its impact on individual circumstances, whether it will be applied retrospectively to persons already holding ILR, nor are we able to confirm the implementation date.

    We will continue to keep abreast of any amendments and updates to the Bill, which will be reflected and posted on our website and in our eNewsletter.

    1st Contact does however recommend that if you are eligible for either Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Naturalisation as a British citizen, you contact us as soon as possible to initiate the process. We suggest this to enable you to avoid the impending changes. Please call 0800 039 3076 (free call within the UK)or email to visas@1stcontact.com

  • Lisa

    I have just had a look at the Bill and the results of the consultation that it is based on. Apparently the citizenship period remains 6 years (5 years plus one probationary year) if you "take part in community activities such as volunteering, charity fund-raising, running a sports team or playgroup, or working as a school governor". So there are ways of ensuring you fall in the 6 year category. But it’s still useless speculating until the Bill is passed and becomes an Act of Parliament.

  • paramjit

    Hi
    Can u please explain this in a bit more detail that if this is going to be the case for the persons waiting to apply for ILR or for a full citizenship which is currently after one year of getting ILR.and secondly if this is going to be implemented from candidates who are going to apply for either of these in March ’09 or afterwards.
    Thanks

  • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com/ Stephen Atkinson

    Hi Rolesy,

    There certainly are arguments for and against stricter immigration policies here in the UK, there is no doubting that.

    Unfortunately, we are all bound by the rules (unless one is lucky enough to hold a British passport!).

    Should you be facing issues with mortgages here in the UK, please contact Sable Property (a division of 1st Contact), as they specialise in mortgages for persons with short-term visas etc. Their number is 0845 373 6865 or you can visit them at http://www.sablemortgages.com/contact.asp.

    Regards,
    Stephen Atkinson
    Immigration Manager
    1st Contact Visas
    Ph: 0800 039 3076 (Freecall within the UK)
    http://www.1stcontactvisas.com

    Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 6:00pm GMT, Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm GMT

    1st Contact Visas are regulated and authorised to provide immigration services by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. Registered No. F2001-00004.

  • Prem

    Hi, I am very confused here with all the proposed changes in immigration rules. I have been here on a work visa for the last 4 years and 3 months and was planning to apply for a permanet residency in November of this year. My question is : would this new rule make me to wait another 3 more years to apply for a p.r.?Thanks, Prem

  • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com/ Stephen Atkinson

    Hi Prem,

    As the Bill is still to be passed in its finality by parliament, 1st Contact is unable to speculate any further on its impact on individual circumstances, whether it will be applied retrospectively to persons already holding ILR, nor are we able to confirm the implementation date.

    We will continue to keep abreast of any amendments and updates to the Bill, which will be reflected and posted on our website and in our eNewsletter.

  • Caron

    Hi Stephen,
    My question is How many times can I renew my HSMP?
    I currently am on my first one that lasts untill 2011.
    How long will my next one last for?
    And after that can I review a Third time?
    Thanks
    Caron

  • Akin Oges

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I currently hold a settlement status(ILR);I intend to file for my wife-back in Nigeria-to join me here in England.My question(s):besides the need on my part to provide proof of sufficient funds,employment,adequate accommodation and evidence of permanent residency;are there any further requirements or are there items that my wife would have to provide on her own,besides passport,to the British High Commission?

  • Akin Oges

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I currently hold a settlement status(ILR);I intend to file for my wife-back in Nigeria-to join me here in England.My question(s):besides the need on my part to provide proof of sufficient funds,employment,adequate accommodation and evidence of permanent residency;are there any further requirements or are there items that my wife would have to provide on her own,besides passport,to the British High Commission?

  • Leo

    Hi Stephen

    I’ve been trying to track some down information of the last extension from 4 to 5 yrs. As my 5 yr period is up July 2010, I was wondering if you or anyone else has any idea how long the process took the last time, from the time it was first introduced to parliament to the actual implementation date.

  • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com/ Stephen Atkinson

    Hi Leo,

    Thank you for your comment.

    You would be able to obtain these details via the Freedom of Information Act – a written request would need to be sent to the UK Border Agency.

    As this dates back to an implementation date of April 2006 and with UK immigration law & policy ever evolving, I cannot remember the full consultation and parliamentary process duration when the residency requirement was raised from 4 to 5 years.

    Should you wish to keep track of the parliament readings of this Bill, here is the link – http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/borderscitizenshipandimmigration.html