The UK has recently been ranked as the lowest out of the 38 surveyed countries for family-friendly immigration according to Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX).
The index provides a comparative evaluation for integration policies across 38 countries, including all EU Member States plus other developed countries such as Japan, Canada, US, Switzerland.
This is not surprising considering the fact that ever since coming to power the Conservative government has been continuously changing the country’s immigration policy making it more rigid and restrictive.
The opportunities for families to reunite, the path to settlement and UK citizenship are significantly restricted. This means the longest delays and highest income, language and fee requirements, one of the few countries with language test abroad and restricted access to benefits.
As a result, now non-EU residents in the UK who want to invest in their integration will face greater hardship and costs than almost anywhere else in the developed world to reunite with their spouses and children, settle permanently or become citizens.
Incidentally, this July is the third anniversary of the introduction of the family migration rules, which have affected and is continuing to affect thousands of families across the UK. The MIPEX data is largely available to general public and this will hopefully be brought to the UK government’s attention by the critics of the new immigration policies.
Cuts to funding and monitoring may also be undermining the UK’s traditional international strengths on anti-discrimination and equality laws with the UK falling behind other English-speaking countries.
The UK overall ranking dropped as a result of among other things restrictive measures and changes introduced to the policies and rules on settlement, citizenship, migrant workers’ rights and family reunion.
Most of these changes were motivated by the government’s pledge to cap migration at the tens of thousands, coupled with the pursuit of austerity and localism.