Green Paper: 'The path to citizenship' proposes:
a three stage route to citizenship, including
a new probationary period of citizenship,
requiring new migrants to demonstrate
their contribution to the UK at every
stage or leave the country;
full access to benefits being delayed
until migrants have completed the probationary
migrants having to improve their command
of English to pass probation;
anyone committing an offence resulting
in prison being barred from becoming a
those committing minor offences being
required to spend longer in the new probationary
period of citizenship;
migrants contributing to a new fund for
managing the transitional impacts of migration,
providing extra financial help to communities
experiencing change from migration; and
migrants getting involved in their communities
through volunteering being able to graduate
to British citizenship more quickly.
Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "Our new
deal for citizenship is clear and fair.
The rights and benefits of citizenship will
be available to those who can demonstrate
a commitment to our shared values and a
willingness to contribute to the community.
is a country of liberty and tolerance, opportunity
and diversity - and these values are reinforced
by the expectation that all who live here
should learn our language, play by the rules,
obey the law and contribute to the community.
people have welcomed migrants over the years.
Our economy and our communities are stronger
for their contribution to British life.
And people think it's fair that the benefits
of citizenship are matched by responsibilities
and contributions to Britain.
proposals are part of the biggest changes
to British immigration policy for a generation.
This year will also see the introduction
of a new Australian-style Points Based System,
which will ensure the UK attracts only people
with the skills it needs and the establishment
of a new UK Border Agency to help strengthen
our border controls helping ensure ours
is one of the toughest borders in the world."
changes to citizenship come against a backdrop
of radical changes to the immigration system.
In 2008 the Government will deliver a complete
overhaul of the way we judge who can come
to Britain and the way we police the system.
changes include the introduction of the
new Australian style Points Based System
from the end of this month which will provide
clearer controls on who can come to the
UK, making sure that the country only takes
in the brightest and the best; a single
border force to guard our ports and airports
with new police-like powers, all visa applicants
fingerprinted, the introduction of a new
system to count people in and out and ID
cards which will strengthen the UK border
and help keep out those who don't have the
right to be in the UK.
reforms to the immigration system will be
backed up with a new single piece of legislation,
replacing all existing immigration laws,
which will be introduced to Parliament in
November this year. This is designed to
make immigration law more straightforward
and transparent and make the UK's immigration
system more effective.
At the beginning of the year, the Immigration
Minister, Liam Byrne, set out a ten point
delivery plan for 2008. The milestones are:
within 15 days to check fingerprints before
a visa is issued anywhere in the world;
within 60 days to introduce on the spot
fines for employers who don't make the
right right-to-work checks;
within 80 days to begin the introduction
of a new points system for managing migration;
within 100 days to introduce a single
border force and police-like powers for
within 180 days to confirm the number
of foreign national prisoners deported
in 2008 will exceed 2007;
within 200 days to activate powers to
automatically deport foreign national
within 300 days to expand detention capacity;
within 330 days to begin issuing compulsory
ID cards for those foreign nationals who
want to stay;
by Christmas to begin counting foreign
nationals in and out of the country and
to introduce compulsory watch-list checks
for high risk journeys before they land;
within 360 days to make and enforce 60
per cent of asylum decisions within six
months, with alternatives to detention