The UK Government’s plan lengthen the period immigrants must live in the U.K. before applying for citizenship may become law next week after backing down on stricter passport checks between Britain and Ireland yesterday.
The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill cleared its final stage in the House of Commons this week with the support of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition parties. The Government had earlier climbed down plans to impose identity checks on journeys between the U.K. and Ireland.
The House of Lords could grant final approval to the legislation on July 21, allowing the measures to go on the statutes, and receive the Royal Assent, as the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Act 2009, before Parliament enters its summer recess, a spokesman for the Home Office said this week.
The rules are part of the biggest curbs on migration in six decades and will make it harder for working migrants to settle in the UK. See: Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill will make it harder to settle in the UK
The new citizenship rules will take effect no earlier than July 2011. Migrants who hold permanent residency at that time, or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), will be able to apply under the old rules for the next two years. Full story and comment.
Other stories this week in Immigration Matters
Immigration Adviser, Evelie Padadac’s advice on ‘What should you do if you are in the UK on a Work Permit?’ and What should you do if you are in the UK under other categories such as ILR?
The UK Government spent more than £8.2 million last year on chartering private jets to deport immigrants, according to official figures. Over £70,000 was wasted on a one bungled attempt to fly failed asylum seeker Fatou Gaye to the Ivory Coast on a private jet only to have to fly her back again when she was refused entry.
The Times reports that people-traffickers view Britain as a “soft touch” when it comes to smuggling illegal immigrants, with high profits and low risks of capture, according to Home Office research published yesterday. Traffickers allege that officials in the Identity and Passport Service are open to bribes to help illegal immigrants enter the country.
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