UKIP: Stricter Test for Migrants Just Gesture Politics

Bulgaria in EU | December 13, 2013, Friday // 17:49|  views

File photo by The Economist

UK Independence Party, which campaigns for tighter border controls and Britain's exit from the EU, has dismissed stronger and stricter habitual residence test for migrants as “gesture politics”.

"A far more effective filter, if we had control of our borders, would be to have migrants learn English before they come to the UK," a spokesman for the party commented on Friday.

He conceded however that would be illegal under EU law.

Fears of an influx of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants into the United Kingdom as of the beginning of the new year have prompted the government to roll out a more robust habitual residence test.

The test is a list of questions officials at Jobcenters can ask to determine if someone qualifies for Jobseeker's Allowance, the benefit most used by immigrants.

The new 100 questions in the fresh habitual residence test is being rushed out ahead of the transitional controls on Romanians and Bulgarians being lifted on 1 January.

In order to pass a habitual residence test, migrants will have to answer more individually tailored questions, provide more detailed answers, and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim.

For the first time migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language skills will be a barrier to them finding employment.

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Tags: United Kingdom, immigrants, Romanian, Bulgarian, Romanians, Bulgarians, Home Office, UK, London, benefits, habitual residence test, Secretary of State, work, pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, UKIP


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