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Uk Citicenship Test Plans Published


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This taken from The BBC website today.

With all the threads on here about the rights and wrongs of the LinUK test etc, whether you agree or disagree, I think there's never been more incentive to work at getting through the current requirements as quickly as you can:

Immigrants who want to become British will need to pass more tests to prove their worth under citizenship plans.

The Home Office bill will make foreign nationals go through a period of probation, including learning English.

Foreign nationals waiting to become British will not be eligible for some benefits and will face a wait of up to 10 years to become citizens.

The bill being published later includes greater powers for border officers as part of an overhaul of entry checks.

The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill sweeps aside a decades-old system of nationality based on time spent in the UK.

In its place comes a series of hurdles and tests.

Prospective British citizens would need to have lived and worked in the UK for at least five years and then spend at least one "probationary" year proving their worth.

NEW SYSTEM

Temporary resident: Five years in most cases

Probationary Citizen: Minimum one year

British Citizen: Full rights

A new way to earn UK citizenship

This proof will include an ability to speak English, record of paying taxes and involvement in the community, such as volunteering.

The probationary period will lengthen to up to five years if foreign nationals applying to become British commit minor crimes or fail the tests in other ways.

Foreign nationals subject to the probationary period will be denied a number of benefits until they pass the final British citizenship tests. They will also be asked to pay into a special fund to ease public service pressures blamed on fluctuations in immigration.

The probationary citizenship rules do not apply to EU nationals who have a right to live and work in the UK as part of the free market area.

A second bill to follow later in the year will further simplify immigration law to create a single form of permission to be in the UK, along with sanctions against people judged to have broken the rules.

Border officers

The bill unveiled on Thursday also finalises the UK's move towards a single border force, giving officers immigration and customs powers.

At present, the recently-uniformed border officers are either immigration or customs officers - but most cannot exercise each others' powers.

Ministers say merging the two groups of officers will strengthen policing of the border, although union leaders have questioned whether it will dilute skills.

It's important that the over-complicated process of 'earned citizenship' is made more clear and fair

Institute for Public Policy Research

MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, of the cross-party Balanced Migration group, have questioned the plans.

"There are two litmus tests for immigration policy," said the MPs. "First, it needs to tighten up immigration controls so that British unemployed people are given a fair crack at getting jobs.

"Second, it needs to control immigration so that the UK's population does not hit 70 million in 2028. This bill passes neither of these tests."

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a left-leaning think tank, also predicted the changes would deter some still much-needed economic migrants.

"Migrants become easy targets at times of economic difficulty but introducing yet more tough measures to exclude people could damage our prospects for economic recovery," said IPPR's Tim Finch.

"Not all migrants will want to settle in the UK, but some will. It's important that the over-complicated process of 'earned citizenship' is made more clear and fair."

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I'd like to know when it will be introduced. One of the comments on the BBC site said that it could be as early as April 2009, but I've not seen any comments elsewhere.

We're hopefully going to be applying for citizenship for my wife at some point this year, so want to know how this is going to affect us. If it is introduced in April, the answer will be, significantly.

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Soooo, some twenty, thirty, fifty years after the fact, the now government decides to construct some barriers to immigration, all of this at a time when unemployment is sky rocketing and this of course has nothing to do with appeasing the local residents and gaining votes in the future, <deleted>!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone heard any more regarding time scales for implementing these plans?

I'm interested to know how it affects those of us who are already part way through the current requirements - whether it be on a settlement; FLR or ILR visa.

I've looked at the border agency website, but cannot see much after the initial announcement.

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Soooo, some twenty, thirty, fifty years after the fact, the now government decides to construct some barriers to immigration, all of this at a time when unemployment is sky rocketing and this of course has nothing to do with appeasing the local residents and gaining votes in the future, <deleted>!

Government never listens to those down below. Money, money, that is what they listen to and what makes the rules.

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