Government ditches measure to fast-track citizenship for volunteers

Decision to scrap scheme brought in by Labour is welcomed by Navca chief executive Kevin Curley

Home Office
Home Office

The government is scrapping a plan introduced by Labour to fast-track citizenship applications for migrants who do voluntary work.

The measure was included in the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Act 2009 and was due to come into force in July 2011.

But a letter from the Home Office, which has been seen by Third Sector, says the relevant part of the act will be repealed.

"Both coalition parties had expressed significant concerns about the earned citizenship proposals as they passed through Parliament," the letter says.

Kevin Curley, chief executive of the local infrastructure umbrella body, Navca, said the decision not to go ahead with the plan was a relief: "When the government uses voluntary work in close association with a policy on the right to stay in the country, it perverts the altruistic motives that should lie behind volunteering."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "In place of earned citizenship, we will introduce simple and less bureaucratic reforms."

- Read Stephen Cook's blog

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