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Citizenship Applications

Volume 590: debated on Monday 5 January 2015

20. How many applicants have been granted citizenship over the last 20 years; and what estimate she has made of the number of errors or mistakes made in decisions on citizenship in that period. (906763)

The published national statistics of British citizenship grants show that there have been more than 2.4 million grants of citizenship over the last 20 years. The recent report by the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration endorsed decision making in the overwhelming majority of cases examined.

None the less, will my hon. Friend say when errors were made and what the consequence of such changes would have been? Is he able to find out how many such citizenship errors should not have been made?

The Government are clear that the grant of UK citizenship is a privilege for those who deserve it, not an automatic right for those who do not. Some of the issues identified by the chief inspector relate to a decision in 2007 to grant a large number of people the right to remain here indefinitely even if they did not meet the rules, and we are working through a process on that. We have also tightened the rules so that if someone has a bad immigration history, they are banned from becoming a British citizen for at least 10 years.