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BritainUSA Home > All about Britain

The UK government is currently reforming its nationality, immigration and asylum policy.


  • UK Launches New Unified Border Agency
    The Home Office, 4/3/2020
  • UK National Identity Scheme Delivery Plan Published
    The Home Office, 3/6/2020
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown Launches Contract for Foreign Nationals Seeking British Citizenship
    The Home Office, 2/20/2008
  • New UK Points Based Immigration System Begins
    The Home Office, 2/6/2020
  • New Immigration Fees Announced
    The Home Office, 1/31/2008

  • Click here for more Immigration news ...

    The white paper Secure Border, Safe Haven was published in February 2002 and set out a comprehensive set of measures to deliver a properly managed, robust and integrated system of immigration, nationality and asylum for Britain in the 21st century.

    The measures will enable the UK to manage migration, secure its borders and build trust and credibility in the system amongst the wider community.

    The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, which carries forward the reforms set out in the White Paper, became law on November 8, 2002.

    The Act's key provisions are:


    • introduce citizenship ceremonies and a new citizenship pledge;
    • require all new citizens to speak English (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic) and have a knowledge and understanding of UK society;
    • end discrimination in nationality law against illegitimate children;
    • reverse historic discrimination by giving certain British nationals who were living overseas during decolonization (British Overseas citizens, British Subjects and British Protected Persons who have no other nationality) a right to register as full British citizens;
    • remove the minimum age requirement for applications for citizenship from stateless children born in the UK and the British overseas territories; and
    • update the law on deprivation of citizenship, bringing it into line with the standards set out in the 1997 European Convention on Nationality.


    • support the creation of a comprehensive induction program to advise applicants of their rights and responsibilities and explain what will happen to them during their claim process;
    • enable the establishment and operation of accommodation centers, with basic services provided on-site;
    • require asylum seekers living in the community to report regularly or risk losing all Government support;
    • introduce a presumption that ten of the countries about to join the EU are safe, which claimants from these countries will have to refute;
    • end the presumption of support for those who do not claim asylum at the first opportunity and do not provide a truthful account of their circumstances;
    • deal with 'benefit shopping' by preventing those who already have support and residency rights in other EU states from approaching local authorities in the UK for housing and other benefits;
    • make clear that refugees who commit serious criminal offences and who are a danger to the public are not entitled to the protection of the refugee Convention;
    • allow the Home Office greater scope to fund support packages for those returning home voluntary and to fund international refugee resettlement projects.


    • end the right of in-country appeals for those with 'clearly unfounded' asylum or human rights claims, including nationals of a designated safe country;
    • introduce a power for the Lord Chancellor to provide for a closure date to prevent multiple adjournments of appeals;
    • bring in a streamlined one stop process to ensure that people appeal or have the opportunity to appeal on one occasion only and must raise all issues at that appeal;
    • introduce a statutory review process which replaces judicial review for those cases which are refused leave to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. The new process provides for a faster review of those decisions, giving asylum seekers a faster, final outcome, maintaining the fairness of the legal process while preventing it from being used simply to cause delay;
    • stop last minute appeals against administrative decisions such as removal directions.

    Immigration control

    • allow the use of physical or 'biometric' data such as facial, fingerprint or iris recognition to verify the identity of people arriving in the UK and to speed them through controls;
    • introduce powers to set up a 'authority to carry' scheme, under which carriers would be required to provide information on passengers checking in for travel to the UK, to ensure that the passenger presents no known security or immigration risk;
    • bring in a new flexible civil penalty system to encourage truck drivers to ensure that their vehicles cannot be used by would-be clandestine illegal immigrants;
    • toughen the law to deal with smugglers and traffickers - increase the penalty for facilitating illegal entry from 10 to 14 years (putting it on a par with drug smuggling) and create a new offence of trafficking for control over prostitution, also with a maximum of 14 years;
    • clamp down on illegal working and other immigration offences by boosting immigration officers' powers to enter business premises to search and arrest immigration offenders, make it easier for employers to comply with the law's demand on illegal working; require public authorities, employers and banks to share information about suspected illegal entrants with the Immigration Service.

    About the Sangatte Center in Calais, France

    About Asylum

    Home Office Immigration and Asylum Statistics

    About the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)

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    Related Websites

    Home Office: Immigration and Nationality Directorate
    "to regulate entry to, and settlement in, the UK effectively in the in...


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