Immigration rules can be tightened can be tightened without harming growth or needing to leave the EU, according to new research. A report published by the Bow Group, the oldest centre right think tank in the UK, highlights how certain rules can be tightened without cutting visas for skilled foreign workers.
The report highlights some immigration rules are loose in comparison to other EU countries and how other immigration rules have been set to be undemanding.
Immigration routes which could be tightened include:
1) Extending the naturalisation period from 6 years to 10 years. This would bring the time to acquire a UK passport similar to that in other EU countries and make it harder to acquire citizenship by residency.
2) Raising the income level needed in order to sponsor a spousal visa from £18,600 to £25,700. This will help ensure those who bring families to theUK are able to support their dependants and integrate into the community.
3) Allow marriage registrars to suspend proceedings where they are confident a wedding is a sham. This will empower registrars who are currently forced to preside over bogus marriages. Empowering registrars will create a deterrent in what is seen as an easy immigration loophole to exploit.
Christopher Mahon, the report’s author, says, “It is a false choice to claim that immigration can only be controlled at the expense of either our economy or our EU membership. This report highlights the type of detailed work required to make sure all the migration rules are strengthened appropriately”.