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Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’ | Immigration Matters

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Immigration Minister Damian Green confirmed the importance of ‘tackling abuse of the family migration route’, and promoting better community integration for those who come to live permanently in the UK, the UK Border Agency reports.

In a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies on the 15 September, the Minister highlighted research that supports the government’s proposals on family migration.

The Minister said: ‘the proposals, which are part of a public consultation on family migration to the UK, will prevent the family route being used to bypass our immigration laws, while welcoming those who want to make a life here with their family and contribute to their local community’.

Government reports on family migration to the UK show:

  • two-thirds of a sample of those granted a marriage visa in 2009 had never visited the UK before deciding to move here permanently;
  • the proportion of people entering on family visas who settle here permanently varies hugely by nationality – of the family migrants granted a visa in 2004, 8 out of 10 from Bangladesh and Pakistan had settled here permanently within 5 years, compared with just 10 per cent of Australians;
  • 20 per cent of a sample of sponsors of marriage visa applicants were either unemployed or had an income below the national minimum wage;
  • 37 per cent of sponsors from the sample were living with family members or friends; and
  • in 2009-10, the Department for Work and Pensions spent £2.6 million on telephone interpreting services and nearly £400,000 on document translation.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:

‘These are sensitive issues which have been ignored for far too long but ones we are determined to tackle.

‘We want a system that lets everyone know where they stand and what their responsibilities are. If your marriage is not genuine, if you have no interest in this country and its way of life, if you are coming here to live off benefits, don’t come in the first place.

‘That is why our focus is on delivering better family migration – better for migrants, for communities and for the UK as a whole.’

Plans to reform family migration are outlined in an ongoing consultation which includes proposals to:

  • define more clearly what constitutes a genuine marriage for the purposes of the immigration rules to help identify sham and forced marriages;
  • introduce a minimum income threshold for those sponsoring family migrants to ensure they are supported at a level that helps integration;
  • extend the probationary period before spouses and partners can apply for settlement in the UK from 2 years to 5 years to test the genuineness of relationships and to encourage integration into British life before settlement is granted; and
  • require spouses, partners and adult dependants aged under 65 applying for settlement to be able to demonstrate that they can understand everyday English.

In 2010, family migration accounted for around 18 per cent of all non-EU immigration to the UK. In 2010, 48,900 visas were granted to spouses, partners and dependants of British citizens and those with permanent residence in the UK.

Early findings from the consultation launched in July 2011 show broad public support for many of the changes the government has proposed. The great majority back the proposed requirement that spouses and partners must have to understand everyday English before being allowed to settle here permanently.

Full details of the consultation on family migration can be found on the UKBA website.

The Immigration Minister has outlined the proposals on a YouTube question and answer video.

You can email him on or tweet your questions @ukhomeoffice

See also:

UK announce more non-EU restrictions on Tier 2 working visas

Do we actually need foreign nurses, especially those with poor English who are a risk? Lord Winston asks  

New Tier 4 sponsor guidance published for Highly Trusted Sponsorship – will your private college qualify?

UK Border Agency seize cash from sham marriage fixer

Most new jobs go to foreign workers official figures reveal

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10 Responses to “Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’”
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  1. […] Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’ […]

  2. […] Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’ […]

  3. […] Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’ […]

  4. You need to see an immigration adviser or lawyer. Five months is a long time.

  5. hi iam waiting for extend student visa i apply on april 2011 and today is sept 24th 2011 no results i dont know what to do nd my college has ben suspended plz help out with this matters i want to extend my visa thnks

  6. In fact due of respect , sir what about those people from outside from euro, it s has happen that have been in to uk for seven years now with my family 3years old boy and one year old boy we don’t takes anything from Gov and we are fully work which any works come up both but I think if Gov can improve their immigration net for those family living in uk legally with their family of we can have aliens card with national insurance card hope those employee it wont easy for them because is like my own for night work am paying 15 pans for all night which they new that we don’t have right to work in uk as support worker paying 5pans an hrs 15 pans for night and secondly a family of three in one bed paying 700 per month , pls why are great we don’t happy to be an illegal immgrant but due of issues of some people from Afican we are helping our family back home to live well and to sustain, pls sir we need help

  7. mashhood says :

    i am full agreement with minister what is the point in not learning the vales of a society ,you are going to be a part of?

    i know all of Pakistanis who are UK national having properties in Pakistan ,home,lands,agriculture lands,commercial shops,and businesses ,yet they live in UK but they have their wealth here in Pakistan.

    they know UK is not their original homeland and one day they can come back in extreme cases like world war3 or etc,so they have build their wealth here in Pakistan.
    although they are part of UK society but they have their real assets in the form of land or homes or commercial buildings in Pakistan.
    what is that mean?

    why they have there wealth in Pakistan,because they know UK is not really there homeland and will never be in the long run.

    they are living there to get the full benefits of a rich society ,rich country,but they are not willing to respect or accept or learn the values of a society they are living in or getting benefit from that society,country.

    a huge number of Pakistanis serving in GULF countries the countries who are Muslim countries ,yet these Gulf countries do not let these Pakistanis having nationality or having personal property as Europe and USA allow this.

    in gulf countries they have not equal rights as they are enjoying in Europion countries and in USA,but hey are not truly thankful to the society where they are living and getting benefits.

    i know many people who served all their life’s in gulf countries and these countries did not let them having any property and never give them any nationality.

    and look at Europe ,western countries opened their doors for these immigrants gave them rights and nationality respect ,opportunities,earnings,wealth educations etc.
    are they truly thankful to these societies???

    if you want to really feel the difference please go to a Gulf Muslim country and serve your whole life in these countries and in the end you will realize the difference.just experience this.

    i am mentioning this so you realize the goodness of these western countries and respect their values,culture.

  8. ann brown says :

    We don’t need anymore poor people the cost mention for one year interpration alone is complete madness

  9. With all due respect to the ministers ideas, I don’t think there is any need to reform the current system on the lines he is suggesting, yes there is no harm to require people to stay longer in UK to be eligible for nationality. However the minimum income requirement is un-necessary, and will make it more difficult for those who come from supportive families, yet on low income.

    The change is one man agenda to reduce the net immigration to this country by excluding non European national for any family system and family support.

    Adopting UK can not mean that you have to sever your ties with you home country and your family back home.

  10. […] Immigration Minister says ‘reforming family migration will promote better integration’ […]

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