203,790 immigrants granted UK passports in 2009
United Kingdom, 30th May: A record high number of immigrants in the UK were granted UK citizenship in the year 2009.
The official figures revealed by the Home Office show that a total of 203,790 foreigners became UK citizens registering a jump of 58 percent over the previous one year.
The figures have been the highest since 1962, the year when the records had begun.
One of the reason for such high number of citizenship for foreigners could be partly due to heavy rush of applications before new strict norms for getting a UK passport are put in to practice next year. Backlog of applications for UK visa due to shift of staff to administrative to decision-making roles is being regarded as another reason for record number of foreigners being granted British citizenship.
As per the new rules to come in to effect from next year, all migrants will be required to stay in the country for a period of up to eight years before becoming eligible for UK passport. At present, the eligibility for getting a UK passport is five years.
Moreover, a points-based system (PBS) will require all immigrants in the UK to show their use to the UK economy.
The new figures show that 1.5 million foreigner immigrants in the UK became citizens of the UK under the Labour government since the year 1997 resulting in increased concerns over the effects of the open door policy of the last government of the UK on immigration.
The figures are nearly five times high than 37,010 approvals in the year 1997 when the Labor took charge.
Out of the total new UK citizenships granted last year, nearly half went to Filipinos, Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.
Meanwhile, the overall number of immigrants coming to live and stay in the UK for a period of more than one year declined by nine percent in 2009. However, the figures still showed to be 503,000, meaning an arrival of nearly 1,300 new immigrants each day in the UK.
Chairman of MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, stated that it’s a big increase which reflects the immense scale of immigration in the country encouraged by the previous UK government. Hence, the task of the new UK government is bring immigration in the UK back in control once again at the earliest.