LBW

Monday, 6 April 2015

FEWER FOREIGNERS GRANTED BRITISH CITIZENSHIP!

The number of foreigners winning British citizenship has plummeted to the lowest level since 2002, new figures have disclosed.

Analysis of official data by Oxford University showed just under 126,000 foreign nationals were awarded citizenship - thus entitling them to a British passport – in 2014, a fall of 40 per cent year-on-year.



The previous peak was 208,000 following many years of large increases under Labour.

The university’s Migration Observatory think-tank said the recent fall was partly due to the "pool" of potential applicants being smaller than in previous years.

Although the study provides no analysis of the effect of Government policy on the numbers, it is likely to mean the Coalition's immigration policies have begun to have a noticeable impact on citizenship figures.

“In 2014, 125,800 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens,” said the study by Dr Scott Blinder.
 
“This was a 40 per cent decline from 2013, when citizenship grants reached almost 208,000, the largest annual number since records began in 1962.

“According to the Home Office the 2013 peak in citizenship grants followed an increase in applications in advance of changes to language requirements.

“Lower numbers of citizenship applications are also consistent with recent decreases in grants of settlement … which will have reduced the pool of people newly eligible to apply for citizenship.”

The largest group was Indian nationals, who made up 17 per cent of new British citizens last year or more than 36,000.

The second largest group was Pakistanis (10 per cent, or 22,0000).

British nationality handed to Poles and other eastern Europeans whose nations joined the EU in 2004 jumped 855 per cent from 2009 to 2013, the report said.

In all, 8,300 became British in 2013 compared with just 869 in 2009.

Half of naturalisations as British citizens were by migrants who have lived here for the required five years plus one additional year as a “settled resident”.

The other half is divided between spouses or civil partners of British citizens, and children.

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of MigrationWatck UK, which campaigns for tougher immigration control, said: "This fall in the numbers granted nationality reflects the impact of more effective controls on non-EU immigration and, especially, on those who are allowed to stay permanently.”

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