Immigrants must learn how British society works

Immigration Minister reaffirmed the ‘earned citizenship’ scheme 16 December 2008. Migrants must earn the right to claim benefits has announced Phil Woolas in an interview with the Advertiser.

The Immigration Minister said:
"The simple idea is that benefits are for full British citizens and, while somebody is living in our country and waiting to become one, they will have responsibilities."

The new immigration policy would mean immigrants would spend their first five years in the UK as ‘temporary residents’ before becoming ‘probationary citizens’ who wait between six to ten years to earn full citizenship and rights.

The Immigration Minister told the Advertiser the new concept of "earned citizenship" will be central to a new Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill to be published by the government in January.

Newcomers would first have to earn the right to a passport and then prove their comment to becoming a full British citizen.

Phil Woolas added: "Their responsibility is to show that they are worthy of being a citizen. That means obeying the law, participating in voluntary activities to learn how society works and it also means learning to speak English.

The immigration crackdown would mean, for example, that in most cases any foreigner sent to prison would be automatically deported.

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