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Indians most welcomed group in UK

Among the 1.64 lakh outsiders who were granted UK citizenship last year, 14,490 — or nine per cent — were Indians. Vijay Dutt reports.

india Updated: May 22, 2008 02:30 IST
Vijay Dutt

Indians seem to be the most favoured ethnic group in Britain. Among the 1.64 lakh outsiders who were granted UK citizenship last year, 14,490 — or nine per cent — were Indians, according to the Home Office figures.

Indians are generally law-abiding and enterprising. Apart from figuring prominently in the list of entrepreneurs, very few Indians are in jails here compared to other ethnic groups.

“Stress on education and family values too impress the English here,” said an MP.

The figures released by the Home Office also underline the rapidly changing face of the UK. Nearly 60 per cent of the new Britons, who earned the entitlement to travel on the UK passports, came from Africa or Asia.

After the largest number of citizenship grants to Indians, Filipinos (10,840), Afghans (10,555), South Africans (8,150) and Pakistanis (8,140) have also been admitted. A quarter of citizenships, about 41,000, were given to children, while about 29,000 have became citizens through marriage.

There has been criticism to the foreign influx by the Tories and anti-immigration groups. "Given the government's proven record of granting passports to people like Mukhtar Said Ibrahim, the ring leader of the aborted July 21 bomb plot, how can they (Government) guarantee that those outsiders who were granted citizenship were suitable people," said David Davis, the shadow home secretary.

Immigration minister Liam Byrne, however, insisted that the government had made it harder to become a citizen here.