Almost 208,000 migrants were given the right to live in the UK last year, according to new figures.
The statistics shows a sharp rise on the 82,000 people given UK visas or leave to remain in Britain at the start of the century. Figures also showed that the number of people granted UK citizenship in the final three months of last year stood at 59,687, up from 41,121 in the same period two years earlier, according to the Daily Mail.
The paper claimed that the increasing number of immigrants allowed to remain in the UK is playing a part in problems at the Passport Office. Staff from other departments are being brought in to help clear the build-up of applications being dealt with.
Around two million people have been granted UK citizenship since 2000, and they have the automatic right to apply for a UK passport. However, people applying for a passport who were not born in the UK face a longer application process, which can include face to face interviews.
The anti-immigration group, Migration Watch claimed that many of the people who received approval to settle in the UK during 2013 will now be applying for their first British passport.
Spokesman Alp Mehmet said: “The moment you become a British citizen you can get a British passport and I suspect many of those 207,000 will have and that is something that adds to the difficulties.”
However, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, pointed out that Passport Offices were being closed as a result of Government cuts.
She said: “Londoners are due to have their passport office part shut in their faces just at the time they need it most. Home Secretary Theresa May has refused to say sorry for her shambles. She needs to get a grip, take responsibility and put this right.”