The UK Border Agency has announced details of the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill today.
This bill is designed to strengthen border controls, through the integration of customs and immigration powers, ensuring that all newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay.
This should result in the following:
- Increased powers to the UK Border Agency
- Ensuring that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay here
- Changes to nationality law and introduction of the new path to citizenship
- A duty on the UK Border Agency to safeguard the welfare of children in their work
The main benefits of the bill have been summarised as follows:
To strengthen the border by bringing revenue and customs functions into the UK Border Agency which will enable its officers to use them alongside immigration powers, enabling a fully integrated approach to border control functions, increasing operational effectiveness and border security.
Ensure migrants earn the right to stay by implementing the new path to citizenship, with progress slowed down if migrants don’t make an effort to integrate, or commit even minor crimes. There will be a number of changes to Nationality law, allowing us to shorten or lengthen the qualifying period for naturalisation according to behaviour.
Implement a firm but fair system – with measures including a new duty for the UKBA to safeguard the welfare of children; and to ensure fairness in nationality cases by removing the historical cut-off point for enabling children of British mothers born before 1961 to become British themselves, and enabling those serving overseas in the armed forces to register their children as British.
Source: UK Border Agency