Home Office wants to know what immigrants think of UK

As many as 50,000 migrants to have their say on immigration system

08 April 2010:
The Home Office is carrying out a year-long project survey to find out the migrants’ assessment of the UK; and what in their opinion can be done to improve the immigration system.

The aid of the survey is to “explore the perceptions of a wide range of migrants, including asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants, foreign students and immigrants joining their families in the UK”. The research also aims to uniquely compare the experiences of different migrant groups.

A feasibility study has already been carried out. As of now, the Home Office is inviting bids from private companies. They are estimated to contact more than 50,000 migrants during doorstep interviews across Britain.

The development is significant as around 200,000 immigrants are granted citizenship every year.

The Border Agency has made it clear that it wants to conduct a large-scale face-to-face survey of migrants in the UK to find out about their experiences, both positive and negative.

Migrants will be asked about the use of public services, including libraries, buses, schools and health care. They will further be asked on how they are contributing to the UK. The other queries include why they came to the UK in the first place and whether they intend on staying permanently.

The necessity of carrying out the survey was being felt to “address a key evidence gap” in the data to help develop immigration policy.

The move has, however, resulted in objections of sorts with the critics accusing the Home Office of wasting money on the survey.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said it was ridiculous to be pandering to the needs of Britain’s migrant population with a costly survey to ask how they were getting on.

If they do not like the UK, they would not have moved in the first place.

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