UK to insist that immigrants must prove they can speak English to gain citizenship

July 12th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, July 12 (ANI): Proposals contained in a Green Paper called “The Path to Citizenship” are to be introduced by the Gordon Brown Government in Parliament next week, and it includes one where future immigrants wanting British citizenship, will have to prove that they can speak English.
According to The Telegraph, the new arrivals will also be required to contribute to a fund to be used for lessening the impact of sudden mass immigration on local public services.
The government is keen that recent arrivals prove they can integrate into general British life, rather than just their own close community, before they are allowed to apply for a British passport. Ministers are concerned that many young women in particular, arrive from abroad to marry and never leave their new family or establish roots in the wider community, before being granted citizenship.
In future, as well as showing they are continue to improve their capacity in English, those wishing to make the UK their home will have to prove they will not be a drain on the benefits system and can “give something back to the community”.
Under one of the most radical proposals contained in the Draft Immigration Bill, published on Monday, an effective “immigrant tax” is proposed to help pay for the schools and hospitals they use.
The special levy on entering the country is designed to respond to concerns that high immigration levels can lead to a drain on public services in communities which lack the funds to support a large influx from abroad.
An additional levy of around 20 pounds will be added to the usual 200 pounds visa need by those wishing to stay in Britain longer than six months, and is expected to bring in an extra 15 million pounds a year.
The Bill has been prepared and launched by British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith earlier this year, which the Daily Telegraph understands has been accepted by ministers virtually in full.
It will usher in a three-stage process for becoming a citizen, including a new probationary period during which migrants will be required to demonstrate their contribution to the UK or else leave the country.
No one will be able to claim benefits until they have completed the probationary period.
Anyone who commits an offence resulting in a prison sentence will be barred from becoming a citizen altogether, while those guilty of a minor crime will have to serve a longer period of probation.
But there will be a fast-track system for migrants who get involved in volunteering in their local community.
The Conservatives have warned however that the extra fee could put key workers such as nurses off coming to the UK. (ANI)

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