Welsh ‘should get same immigration points as English’ in system

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On Monday MPs voted for the UK government’s immigration bill at second reading.

It will do away with free movement for people from the EU and pave the way for a new points system.

In response the Home Office said that English is “the national language”.

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, has also called on the Home Office to “acknowledge Welsh as an official language in Wales” as part of the new system.

A spokesperson at the Welsh Government said ministers are “concerned” by the proposals from the Home Office, “which do not make provision for other official UK languages, other than English”.

“Welsh holds the same legal status as English in Wales and should be treated no less favourably.

“We strongly believe that Welsh language skills should be awarded the same points as for English. The Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language will making these points to the Home Secretary.”


Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts said he is “disappointed that the Home Office does not acknowledge Welsh as an official language in Wales, and refers to English as the only ‘national language'”.

The plans for the new points-based immigration system would award 10 points for an ability to speak English “at a required level”, as well as points for having an annual income of at least £23,040 a year, having a job offer in place from an approved sponsor, if there are shortages in the proposed area of employment, and a high level of education in a relevant field.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are delivering a news points-based immigration system that works in the interests of all of the United Kingdom.

“As the national language, being able to speak English will help people live and integrate effectively wherever they choose to settle in the UK.”

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, said he will be writing again to the Home Office “to request a response to their initial letter, and an explanation of the situation.”