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UK Immigration and the Queen's Speech

It is usual for new Government Policy to be announced in the UK in the Queen's speech. In reality the speech is based on what the Government of the day wishes to do rather than the Queen's personal political views. The Queen had the following to say in her recent speech to the House of Lords:

"My Government will limit the number of non European Union economic migrants entering the United Kingdom and end the detention of children for immigration purposes."

The UK Government confirmed after the Queen's speech that the aim is to reduce immigration levels from outside the EU from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. It remains to be seen what will happen after the consultation period ends. It has been said that an immigration quota will be very harmful for the UK economy.

The new Government's policy on UK Citizenship will be similar to the previous Governments:

  • There will be a formal "path to citizenship."

  • It will take longer to gain citizenship if migrants do not make an effort to integrate or commit even minor crimes.

  • In some cases applicants for British citizenhip will be fast-tracked.

  • Currently in most cases you will have to wait five years before being able to apply for British Citizenship. In future the time period will vary depending on your circumstances.

  • Those serving overseas with the Armed Forces will be able to register their children as British.

The UK Border Agency will be given more powers and will take on the responsibilities of customs officers and the immigration service. To a great extent this has already happened.

If you meet the immigration requirements now for one of the Tier visa categories or for British Citizenship you should seriously consider applying now before changes to the immigration system. It will be more difficult and complicated in future to come under say the UK Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa or to apply for British Citizenship.