08 November 2010
The UK Government has decided to abandon its plans to implement an 'earned citizenship' policy which was due to go into effect in July of 2011.
Earned citizenship would require immigrants to apply for 'probationary citizenship' instead of permanent residence (indefinite leave to remain).
Currently, an immigrant living in the UK can apply for permanent residence after about five years, after which they can live in the UK indefinitely.
"We will not implement Labour's policy of earned citizenship, which was too complicated, bureaucratic and, in the end, ineffective," said Home Secretary Theresa May in a recent statement.
However, the Government still appears to be on track for tightening the requirements for permanent residence in Britain.
"If people enter this country saying that they will only stay here temporarily, then it is obvious that they should only stay here temporarily," May continued. "Working in Britain for a short period should not give someone the right to settle in Britain. Studying a course in Britain should not give someone the right to settle in Britain."
While the UK dropping earned citizenship is good for many people who wish to live and work in the UK on a permanent basis, it looks like the Government still plans to make UK immigration more difficult for migrants in the future. If you qualify for indefinite leave to remain it may be best to apply sooner rather than later.