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Immigrants should learn English and join ‘common’ UK culture | Immigration Matters

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Immigrants coming to the UK will be expected to learn English and understand the British way of life, the government is expected to announce as part of its new strategy on integration.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles plans to signal an end to the policy of multiculturalism. Instead, children will be educated in a “common culture”.

At the same time, the government will pledge to challenge extremism in all its forms.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Pickles refers to a “politics of division” exemplified in recent years by “public bodies bending over backwards to translate documents into a variety of foreign languages”.

He also dips into the ongoing row over what his Conservative colleague Baroness Warsi last week called “militant secularism”, observing: “We’ve seen men and women disciplined for wearing modest symbols of Christian faith at work, and we’ve seen legal challenges to councils opening their proceedings with prayers, a tradition that goes back generations, brings comfort to many and hurts no one.”

Pickles is particularly critical of Harriet Harman, who was equalities minister in the last Labour government. “Harman was leading the country down the wrong path,” he says. “If we are to remain a country where people of different backgrounds feel at ease and get along, we need more confidence in our national traditions. We must be unafraid to insist on the common ground and common values we all share.”

Learning English, he believes, will increase social mobility. “It’s right to ask new migrants to demonstrate a grasp of the English language and an understanding of British traditions. It would be plain unkind to encourage people to come here without the basic skills and understanding that are vital to getting on in a job, in education and the local community.”

And while the strategy may spell the end of multiculturalism, the government will also promise to stamp out racism and “challenge extremism in all its forms” by improving the recording of hate crime against the Muslim and Jewish communities. Source: The Week.

Earlier this month the Immigration Minister announced that the UK is set introduce a minimum earnings figure of £31,000 in order to qualify for permanent settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain. Changes in the pipeline include:

  • Further changes to family migration
  • Reforms to settlement and greater selectivity
  • Breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration
  • Completing changes to eliminate abuse of the student visa route
  • review of the annual limit on skilled economic Tier 2 migrants
  • Contribution-based system rather than points-based

As expected, the UK Border Agency has confirmed earlier rumours published by Immigration Matters on reforming the route to settlement or UK naturalisation with the creation of a ‘sustainable selective immigration system that encourages the brightest and best to come to the UK’.

See also:

UK’s Tier 2 immigration rules could see EU chefs cooking your Indian curry

New student visa rules announced today

UK Border Agency name and shame employers who employ illegal workers

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

Settlement in UK to be linked to a minimum salary of £31,000 says Immigration Minister

How will the new ‘minimum salary for residency’ proposals affect you?

Britain will limit settlement to ‘brightest and best’ migrants under new plans

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or have left the UK!

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2 Responses to “Immigrants should learn English and join ‘common’ UK culture”
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  1. You can apply for ILR under EEA Rules

  2. My husband has a Portuguese Passport and I am a dependant on his passport.. How do i get citizenship?? please advised as i need to know an its important

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