Reprieve for migrants with Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The UK Border Agency has announced transitional arrangements for migrants who will be on the ‘journey to British citizenship’ when earned citizenship is introduced.
The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act received Royal Assent on 21 July 2009.
Sections 39-41 and 47-49 of Part 2 of the Act give effect to earned citizenship, which is planned for introduction in July 2011.
As the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill progressed through Parliament, the government listened to the views of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The government subsequently agreed the following transitional arrangements:
- If a migrant has already been given indefinite leave to remain (ILR – also known as settlement) on the date when earned citizenship is introduced, they will automatically be considered to be a ‘permanent resident’. They will not need to pay or apply for this to occur. They will be eligible to apply for British citizenship under the current rules during the first two years after earned citizenship is introduced.
- If a migrant has applied for indefinite leave to remain before the date when earned citizenship is introduced, and is subsequently granted indefinite leave to remain, they will be eligible to apply for British citizenship under the current rules during the first two years after earned citizenship is introduced.
- The government will continue to meet its obligations to migrants who entered the United Kingdom on the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and had a legitimate expectation that they would be able to apply for and be granted indefinite leave to remain, in accordance with the Immigration Rules that were in place when they applied to the HSMP.
- The introduction of earned citizenship has been postponed by six months, to give people time to adjust to the new system and to allow more applicants who are already in the United Kingdom to apply under the current rules. Earned citizenship will now be introduced in July 2011.
All applications for indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship received before earned citizenship is introduced will be dealt with under the current system.
The message is clear. If you qualify for ILR, apply now while it’s still on sale.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Studying in the UK, Settlement, Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: