Last month, the Home Office released figures revealing that over 2 million migrants had obtained British nationality since 2000 (a rise of 14% of passports given in one year). It seems that Home Office officials are now approving citizenship applications faster than when the Labour government was in power. British nationality allows migrants to live and work freely in the UK and gives them the right to vote in general elections.
UK Home Office Figures 2012: 204,541 Requests for Passports
The Home Office’s official figures revealed that 204,541 requests for a UK passport were rubber-stamped in this past year. Benefits, the jobs market and no restrictions on access to housing are just some of the advantages for new citizens with a British passport.
The majority of migrants that have been given passports arrived in the UK in 2008 or earlier. It is believed that most of the beneficiaries are from Pakistan, Nigeria, China, the Philippines and India.This latest fact comes at a time when the Conservative party are struggling to bring immigration under control. The Home Office are approving citizenship faster than at the height of Labour’s open-door policy back in 2009 when at the time a record breaking 203,789 were rubber stamped.
The main source of being granted a British passport is residency. Normally 5 years living continuously in the UK makes you eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. It is believed that last year 111,637 qualified for ILR. 42,048 passports were granted through marriage to a British citizen and 45,772 by being the child of British citizen.
British Citizenship: New English Language Requirements
Migrants hoping to settle in the UK will have to sit and pass and English language course on top of the current test on life in the UK. Those who are English speakers will only have to take the life in the UK test, but those migrants who do not speak English or are skilled are required to pass a course in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) which contains citizenship materials. According to Theresa May “It would clearly be wrong for people to be able to become British citizens with a lower level of English than that expected from permanent residents.”
Mark Harper, immigration minister agreed stating it would “ensure that migrants are ready and able to integrate into British society”.
The director of cross-party group the Migration Matters Trust, Atul Hatwal shared the positive enthusiasm of the change, as he believed it encourages a “shared understanding of the country we live in”, and creating unity between new and existing citizens.
Successful Applications for British Citizenship
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making an application for British nationality step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.