According to the UK Independence Party website UKIP will try to achieve the following if they gain power at the 2010 general election:

The UK Independence Party is calling for a five-year freeze on immigration into Britain and a future policy that would see migrants controlled by a points system similar to that operated by Australia and New Zealand.

UKIP proposes:

A five-year moratorium on immigration (except for people with parents or grandparents born in the UK) until proper immigration controls are put in place, and the situation regarding illegal immigrants has been resolved by means of expulsion or the granting of the legal right to stay.

The party says work permits should continue to be issued to companies requiring employees to work in the UK throughout this moratorium period.

After the moratorium, the policy paper says, future immigration would then be on a strictly controlled basis using a points system.

No one should be admitted unless they are fluent in English, have the required educational qualifications, demonstrate loyalty to the UK, its laws and values, and can support themselves financially, with no recourse to public funds – and this to apply equally to their dependents.

“Britain can only control immigration by reclaiming control of her borders,” the policy paper states. “This can only be done by leaving the European Union, as the EU now controls asylum seeker policy and requires open borders under its immigration policies.”

The party says recent research shows that 80% of people polled agreed to the statement, “We must control immigration even if this means leaving the EU”.

In the same poll, conducted by Communicate Research (July 2007), nearly 70% of respondents believed that “our commitment to the EU means we can no longer control immigration”.

The policy paper says future UK immigration policy should not discriminate in favour of EU citizens at the expense of Commonwealth citizens. There should be fair and equal treatment for all

It proposes that:

“Citizenship should be granted on a provisional basis for a ten-year probationary period. New citizens should be required to sign a ‘Declaration of Citizenship’. This Declaration would commit them to uphold the Britain’s democratic and tolerant way of life, to uphold the British Constitution, obey the laws, and not propagate extremist political or religious views during their probationary term. If they break the terms of their Declaration, they will be liable to the removal of their provisional citizenship and deportation to their country of origin, along with any dependents, subject to one appeal only.”

UKIP’s polling reveals that majority of people support UKIP’s principles, that 8% say they are close to voting or likely to vote for UKIP and a further 37% would consider voting UKIP but either don’t know enough about the party or have not been offered a candidate.

Other points from UKIP’s immigration policy:

* The existing laws regarding the application for political asylum will be enforced. Applications will only be considered at a British port or airport where the applicant has arrived directly from the country from which asylum is sought; or at the British embassy or consulate in that country – anyone who applies for asylum having come through a safe country will be immediately returned to that safe country or returned direct to their country of origin.

* Put in place border controls so that all non-UK nationals who enter the UK can be registered and tracked on their entry and exit from the country. Anyone overstaying their visa will be subject to arrest and removal from the country and will incur a ban on further entry to the UK for a minimum of five years

* Personnel and resources engaged in deporting failed illegal asylum seekers and illegal immigrants will be tripled in size

* Work permits will only be granted to workers who have a job and accommodation waiting for them, and who can financially support themselves or who will be accommodated or financially supported by their employer. This ‘No Home, No Visa’ policy will reduce the pressure on UK housing in short supply, and free up housing waiting lists for British citizens

* The UK will retain an open entry system and warm welcome for tourists from the EU and other countries as existing arrangements, but with proper border and security checks. Reciprocal arrangements for UK citizens visiting EU countries would be negotiated under the UK’s free trade agreement with the EU on regaining independence

* The UK would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights

* The UK would fully apply the 1951 Convention on Refugees, particularly the clause on refugees having to accept asylum in the first safe country they reach.

I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on UK Independence Party’s Immigration policies in the comments below?