A news report out of Britain highlights a new move to monitor and limit immigration. The bigger question is what this new tracking strategy will mean for other countries including Canada and the expatriates that live abroad. The particulars were summarized, but the plan is not without its critics.
In a recent move, it seems that all of those travelling to and from Britain will be tallied when coming and going. As part a more aggressive immigration policy spearheaded by home secretary John Reid, this has the possibility of becoming a wider trend in other nations, especially those with such close ties with Britain like Canada and Australia.
Even Reid, who noted that the system would not be full implemented until 2014, made the comment that "there is no overnight solution."
"We will extend exit controls in stages based on risk, identify who overstays and count everyone in and out, while avoiding delays to travellers, by 2014," Reid added.
The whole plan is part of bid to overhaul the current system, which has been harshly criticized for its current mired and flawed condition. The new proposal would seek to make the system more transparent and reliable. Not only would new plan call for budget increases and additional personnel, but also tougher penalties for illegal immigrants and expatriates convicted of a criminal offense.
Canadian expats living in the Britain should pause to consider the implications for them and make appropriate adjustments to comply with the new laws. It may be that Canada will follow suite and make similar changes to its own immigration laws, but this remains to be seen.
It was a combination of an inadequate system and the concerns surrounding the question of how many illegal immigrants were currently living in Britain. Still, the Liberal Democrats in Britain harshly criticized the government's delay in tackling the problems and questioned whether Secretary Reid's proposals would offer a genuine answer.
Various critics point to different aspects other new policy showing where some measure falls short or another leads to further problems. The piece of advice that any expat, Canadian or otherwise, should take from this change in policy is that it is essential to remain on the right side of the law and make sure all of your documentation is current and official.