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Record number of people granted | Immigration Matters

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The number of people granted British citizenship in the United Kingdom rose to a record high last year, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The Home Office said that 164,635 people became UK Citizens in 2007, up 7% in a year, the highest number ever recorded.

A quarter of the new citizenships, around 41,000 were given to children. And 29,000 people gained citizenship by marriage.

During last year, a total of 160,980 people applied for citizenship, a rise of 8 per cent compared to the previous year.

The biggest national group among new British passport holders was Indians, who made up 9% of the total.

Filipinos represented 7% (over 10000 people) of the total, reflecting the large numbers of healthcare and domestic workers who arrived in 2001/02.

The Home Office refused 14,725 applications, or 9% of all applicants, proving that applying for a British passport is not a formality.

Of those, 2,365 were rejected because the applicants failed new “citizenship tests,” failing to demonstrate sufficient command of English and knowledge of life in the UK.

The citizenship figures emerged as the Office for National Statistics released a whole range of immigration and population data.

The figures also showed that the number of eastern Europeans who have applied to work in Britain has topped 845,000.

Of these, 102,029 eastern Europeans are receiving child benefit, a benefit not available to Work Permit holders.

Since 2004, over 24,000 applications by eastern Europeans have made for income-related benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support.

There were a further 945 applications for worker cards from Romanians and Bulgarians, of which 360 were approved, and 7,145 applications for worker-registration certificates, of which 5,900 were granted.

The number of people removed (deported) from the UK was up 12 per cent to 16,760.

If you need immigration advice and would like a free consultation please email me at: info@immigrationmatters.co.uk

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