A point system to get the brittish citizenship

A point system to get the brittish citizenship



A point system to get the brittish citizenship



In Britain, one has to “ earn points” to obtain the citizenship. With the Border, Citizenship and Immigration Act, passed in 2009 by the British Parliament, immigrants have to deal with a point system that is based on skills, work and knowledge, to become british citizens.


This point system is not clearly defined and remains unclear because the exact criteria are still unclear. If the amount of money brought during installation, the career and voluntary service are all elements that enable to earn points, other criteria may cause their loss. One of the most striking examples is that the applicants for naturalization can be removed from the list if they show “bad behavior” such as demonstrate. Indeed, these people no longer have the right to protest against the government action because it would deprive them of access to nationality. Those who demonstrated against the military intervention of the British armed forces in the world have beared  the cost of it. Clearly, to have access to citizenship, applicants must curb their freedoms, particularly their freedom of speech.


Several systems tested one by one



In this new system, Commonwealth citizens have a special status, they are already voters as well as eligible for all elections in the UK. In this new system, Commonwealth citizens have special status, they are already eligible voters in all elections in the UK. For example, a Commonwealth citizen who is not British and therefore not european can be elected to the European Parliament. This rule was put in place to encourage minority representation. It marks a break with the policy applied between 1962 and 1981, during which time the Common Wealth Act greatly restricted the granting of work and residence permits to citizens of the Commonwealth. This law was passed in November 1961 by the British government to satisfy the public opinion , which was concerned about  important influx of immigr



In 1981, the British Nationality Act replaced the Commonwealth Immigrant Act. This new law established three levels of British citizenship. There were the British citizens, the commonwealth citizens and the overseas citizens (the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar …). The last two categories could get the citizenship after five years of residence on British soil.



Social differences remain real

Once applicants to nationality  finish the point system and the various stages they had to face to obtain the citizenship, they still have to face the gaze of a part of the population. The distinction is clear between the “brtishness” and citizenship. The “brutishness” is a kind of hard core which is exclusive and closed. According to a qualitative survey, three criteria determine if a person is a “real British”.   The first one is, of course, the citizenship, the second is to have British ancestors.The third criterion is based on the culture, values and lifestyle that should match the British style.

The obtaining of the British Nationality is now reduced to a point system that gives only a limited value to nationality. It is unfortunate that the UK, one of the “best in class” in Europe thanks to its policy against discrimination set up in 1976, is now reduced to this.


Alexandrine Yala