Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Many immigrants who came to Britain intending to stay for just a short visit have changed their minds and stayed

Stephanie Condron:

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation examined the lives of a group of Eastern Europeans who came to the UK before European Union enlargement.

Researchers said those coming to the UK should be integrated into the British way of life as soon as they arrive, even if they do not intend to settle.

Immigrants from the so-called A8 nations - Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta - won the right to live, work and remain permanently in the UK after EU enlargement on May 1, 2004.

Researchers from Oxford and Sussex Universities questioned 333 immigrants from Ukraine and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania a month before enlargement.

Most had already been in the country for 18 months. But they were asked to recall whether they had intended to settle in Britain on arriving.

Of the 307 who responded, just 18 (six per cent) said they had.

The migrants were also asked if it was now their intention to settle and 76 (24 per cent) said it was. Eight months later - and after enlargement - the researchers tried to find the same group to find out how many had decided to settle.

They could only trace 109 of them but by then 62 (29 per cent) said that staying was their intention.

'More immigrants are deciding to stay'

Migrants 'want to settle in UK'


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