Easy for UK migrants to stay, finding work harder-study

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LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) Immigrants find it easier to stay legally in Britain over the long term than in many other European countries, but it is often harder for them to find jobs, research showed today.

Britain ranked fifth in migrants' ease of gaining long-term residency and nationality in a study of 25 European Union member states and Norway, Switzerland and Canada conducted by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group.

According to the study, more than 65 per cent of Britons believe the country's 3.4 million immigrants born outside of the EU enrich its culture.

But immigrants found it difficult to bring their families into the UK and to find work, with the study ranking Britain 12th in these categories.

Britain also ranked poorly in terms of clamping down on anti-discrimination and racism, coming 11th out of 15 of the older EU states.

Britain was rated ninth overall for ease of integration behind Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Canada, Italy and Norway.

British Council chief Martin Davidson said he hoped the report would trigger ''wider discussion, greater understanding and effective action''.

''Migration is one of the key issues facing Europe along with complex questions of identity, religious expression in largely secular societies and fears arising from terrorism and war.'' Reuters CS VP0443

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