22 May 2008

Record number of new UK citizens

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A record number of immigrants to the UK have chosen to become British Citizens over the last year. Over 164,600 people were given citizenship in the UK in 2007, which is the highest number or new citizenship grants in any singe year.

Anyone applying for UK citizenship must complete a life in the UK test. The record citizenship numbers have contributed to a whopping two million Life in the UK Tests written over the last 11 years.

New British citizens come from a variety of locations, including Australia, Africa and India. Interestingly, Australian migrants to the UK opted to become a full citizen at a proportionally higher rate than those from some other regions. According to the Herald Sun, many cited the fact that they were already residents on Ancestry or Working Holiday Visas, with others choosing to become British citizens to stay with a UK spouse.

The record number of citizenship grants in 2007 represents a seven per cent rise over the previous year. The Home Office credits a more efficient processing system for reducing a backlog of applicants, allowing them to process more citizenship applications in less time. The government department revealed that 2,300 applicants were denied UK citizenship due to not having sufficient language skills or failing the life in the UK test.

Most official estimates put the total number of people entering the UK last year at 591,000.

Anyone interested in getting a better understanding of their current position under UK visa regulations should request a call from a qualified UK Visa Bureau migration consultant to see if they are eligible for migration to the UK, or call direct on Freephone 0800 043 7011. Alternatively, HSMP visa hopefuls should try taking the HSMP online assessment.


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