The UK has fallen out of the top 10 in the index of countries measured by their commitment to integrating legal overseas arrivals.
The 2015 Migrant Integration Policy Index puts the UK in 15th position, a fall of five places since the study was last published in 2015. Germany, Denmark and Australia have all overtaken the UK in the list.
One of the key reasons that the UK is considered less immigration-friendly is the tougher policies introduced by the Coalition government on the financial requirements for people seeking UK visas to live in Britain with their families. The level set means fewer than half of the UK population would have sufficient income to bring a non-EU spouse to live with them in Britain.
The UK scored the lowest in the index for family migration and below the average ranking for awarding permanent residence.
However, the report found that the UK was one of the most generous countries when it came to naturalisation, allowing long stays before an application is made. However, it also had the highest fees internationally and some of the toughest language and ‘good character’ demands. Although the UK topped the list for naturalisations, the figure fell by 40 per cent in 2014.
The UK education system retained its good marks for inter-cultural education, with schools continuing to work towards tolerance. Schools also benefitted from freedom to spend funds as they pleased to improve diversity and this was reflected in better than ever performances from children of migrant parents.
However, the index also found that English language support and training have been scaled back over the past few years, especially for migrants already working in the UK, which is affecting their opportunities to integrate and secure more highly-paid employment.