Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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Public perception of being British and immigration?

17 June 2014 #Immigration

The unprecedented surge in support for UKIP has been highlighted by a recent survey conducted by NatCen.

A survey of 3,000 people was conducted to find out what the British public perceives as most important when determining whether or not someone is ‘truly British’. The results showed that:

  • 95% felt that to be British you must speak English (in 2003 this figure was 86%)
  • 74% said it was important to have lived in Britain to be considered British (the corresponding statistic in 2003 was 69%)
  • 61% believe that immigrants from the EU should have to wait three years or more before they are allowed to claim welfare benefits
  • only 27%  stated that legal immigrants who are not British citizens should have the same legal rights as British citizens (whereas 40% in 2003 said the same)

Are these statistics at odds with an increasingly multi cultural society?

Whilst these results represent a more robust approach than in recent years, they do conflict with figures published on immigration and citizenship; in the year ending March 2014, there was a 6% increase in those who were granted British citizenship. In order to obtain British citizenship, various criteria must be fulfilled which includes: having lived in the UK for at least 5 years and passing an English language and Life in the UK test.  This test examines various aspects of life in the UK, including UK values, principles, traditions, culture, the government and the law.   You do have to wonder how many UK born citizens could correctly answer the questions.

In addition to citizenship, more work-related visas were issued including higher numbers of Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (929) and Tier 1 Investors (421).  It is anticipated that Tier 1 investors will contribute in the region of £500 million per annum through investments; this, of course, is good news for the UK’s turbulent economy.

Bearing in mind the increasing figures and public perception, it will be interesting to see how UKIP fare in the General Election and how this may impact on immigration rules, procedures and statistics in the future.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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