Illegal immigration to Britain could lead to 10-year ban

March 28th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by admin  

Chandigarh, March 28 (IANS) Illegal immigration to Britain could lead to a 10-year ban by the British government when submitting an application for legal migration later, a senior British official said here Friday. British Deputy High Commissioner to India Creon Butler told reporters that recent changes in immigration laws and procedures were not to discourage immigration to that country but to make it more transparent.

“Legal migration is critical to us. The only way that we want migration to take place is the legal way. We have introduced certain changes recently. We are determined to ensure that illegal immigration is not successful,” Butler said.

The British government had last year started a campaign in selected villages of Punjab to make people aware of immigration procedures and job opportunities available in Britain and stop them from falling into the trap of unscrupulous travel agents.

Butler said the British government had introduced harsher penalties for illegal immigration, including a 10-year-ban on an illegal immigrant from making a fresh application for legal immigration.

Butler said some of the other steps introduced to curb illegal immigration were imposing heavy penalties on employers who engage illegal immigrants for work. He said the British government had also introduced biometric identification to prevent illegal immigrants from trying to enter Britain.

“One step against illegal immigrants is to ensure they are returned speedily. Over 200 illegal immigrants are returned to India every month,” Butler said.

The deputy high commissioner said the high commission was in constant touch with the Punjab government, which was bringing in a law to regulate the functioning of travel and immigration agents in Punjab.

He disclosed that Britain issued 350,000 visas to people in India last year.

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