UK Visa News: UK ranked 12th for ease of integration

08 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

People applying for UK visas may be interested to learn that the UK has been ranked in 12th place in terms of how easy it is for immigrants to integrate into the culture and the country.

The placement was determined by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group's Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), which ranked 31 countries in Europe and North America on their policies towards integrating immigrants.

Among the factors taken into account in the UK immigration ranking were employment opportunities for people with UK visas, anti-discrimination legislation and access to education.

While migrants' access to education could be restricted by upcoming changes to UK immigration laws for students, the country did place particularly well for its anti-discrimination laws.

Indeed, the MIPEX stated that Britain has some of the strongest laws of this kind, but warned that very few countries have the strong policies and bodies required to promote equality in society.

Commenting on the report, Rosemary Hilhorst OBE, the British Council's regional director for EU Europe, said: "With the third phase of MIPEX research we aim to provide reliable information to governments, civic institutions and the wider public to compare migrant integration policies across countries and over time.

"This will encourage more informed discussion on best practice and enable better future policies."

It is worth noting that the survey used a snapshot of the UK immigration situation in May 2010, meaning that it was heavily influenced by the previous government's 'earned citizenship' element of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, which is not being pursued by the current coalition government.