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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July 2005, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Immigration and Asylum Bill
AIM
This bill establishes a new point-based system for migrants to work in the UK.

MAIN PROVISIONS
BILL'S PROGRESS
Responsible department: Home Office
Origin: Commons
Introduced: 22 June 2005
Second reading: 5 July 2005
Committee stage: 18, 19, 20, 25 & 27 Oct 2005
Remaining stages: 16 Nov 2005
Consideration of Lords amendments: 16, 29 March 2006
LORDS:
First reading: 17 Nov 2005
Second reading: 6 Dec 2005
Committee stage: 9, 11, 17 & 19 Jan 2006
Report stage: 7 Feb 2006
Third reading: 14 March 2006

ROYAL ASSENT: 30 March 2006
  • Only skilled workers will be allowed to stay in the UK, as long as they pass English language and British culture tests
  • The qualifying period to settle in the UK will rise from four to five years
  • More stringent workplace inspections will take place and employers of illegal workers will face 2,000 fines
  • Certain migrants will be required to hand over a financial bond to the government which will be forfeited if they do not return home
  • The immigration appeals system is also set for reform and successful asylum seekers will no longer be able to stay indefinitely, but will have a maximum five year grace period

    BACKGROUND
    The system is like that in Australia, with four tiers of points favouring those with certain skills.

    The bill is in line with international plans for fingerprinting visa applicants.

    It will also use biometric data and allows data to be shared across borders including the e-borders programme.

    Tightening up the appeals system - including for student and visiting visas - will attract opposition from the legal system and immigrant charities.

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