Controls on immigration

The UK must continue to honour its human rights obligations towards asylum seekers.  Controls over immigration from outside the EU are therefore seen as the most appropriate way to achieve a level of immigration that really meets the UK’s economic needs. (House of Lords report April 2008)

UK Border Agency

Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill, formally introduced to the UK Parliament in January 2009 will deliver this greater control when it comes into force later in 2009 or in early 2010.

New system of “earned citizenship”

The automatic right to stay in the UK after five years residence is abolished
Accepted migrants must demonstrate a good ability in English and knowledge of life in Britain.

Full access to benefits and social housing will be reserved for citizens and permanent residents.

New entry controls

A five tier points based system

  1. Highly skilled e.g. scientists, entrepreneurs
  2. Skilled with job offer e.g. teacher, nurse
  3. Low skilled filling specific temporary shortages
  4. Students
  5. Youth mobility and temporary workers e.g. musicians coming to play in a concert.

Tiers 3 and 5 are temporary, migrants cannot switch out of them once in the UK.
Tiers 1,2 and 4 – migrants can switch between tiers if they meet the requirements.
Tiers 1,2,4,and 5 are in operation. Tier 3 is currently (8/09) suspended.

A high tech system for counting people in and out of the country: e-Borders
ID cards for some categories of foreign nationals (introduced 28/11/08)


  • Migration Impact Fund – a £50 levy on students and economic migrants from outside the EU.
  • Jobs must be advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices before being offered to workers from outside Europe, to give UK based workers a better chance to find jobs.
  • Home Office advice to employers
  • Procedures tightened to check bogus colleges that have allowed illegal immigrants into the country.

How is migration controlled in other countries?


1990 Immigration Act set a limit of 700,000 immigrants per year, yet over one million enter legally.

There is also a lot of new legislation aimed at illegal immigrants and there are policies towards legal immigrants who commit crimes. As a result, more than a million legal and illegal immigrants have been deported in the last 10 years.


Character tests must be taken, criminal records and health records checked.
A points system is in place for work permits; you can only receive a work permit after scoring a certain number of points according to skills you possess.