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14 year rule for the chop?
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It looks like the 14 year rule may be for the chop. See this question and answer from Prime Ministers Questions yesterday:
Mr Hollobone: … Under rules introduced in 2003, illegal migrants who manage to avoid the authorities for 14 years can apply for permanent stay, have full access to the welfare system and even obtain a British passport. Given that in the past eight years nearly 10,000 such migrants have won such rights, and with an estimated half a million illegal immigrants in Britain today, will the Prime Minister seek to change those rules and restore some sanity to Britain’s border controls?
The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend makes an important point. We have pledged to break the link between temporary migration and permanent settlement in the UK because we believe that settling in Britain should be a privilege, rather than an automatic right for those who have evaded the authorities for a certain amount of time. We are going to consult on further measures, including the future of the 14-year rule he mentioned, and make announcements later this year. We have already announced that there will be tighter rules for those wanting to settle here and have already implemented a new income and English language requirement for skilled workers who have been here for more than five years.
This news will not come as a total surprise to anyone familiar with the direction of immigration policy at the moment. The Government has realised that there is no magic wand that can be waved and that will reduce migration by the amount foolishly pledged, at least without doing serious damage to the economy. Instead, they are having to pull every small lever they can find to reduce the numbers a little bit here and there: the quota for students, abolishing Tier 1 (General), imposing and increasing language requirements across the board, increasing the minimum skills and salary levels under the Points Based System, preventing settlement for those with any sort of criminal record and so on. The long residence rules are an obvious target.
There is no consultation out on this that I am familiar with – has anyone else seen anything?