HC Deb 28 October 1971 vol 823 cc406-7W
39. Mr. Drayson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if Commonwealth and other students from overseas who continue their studies in the United Kingdom beyond a period of five years automatically qualify for permanent residence.

Mr. Sharples

Under the present law, a Commonwealth citizen is entitled to register as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies after five years' ordinary residence. He also becomes exempt from deportation after five years' continuous ordinary residence without registration. A foreign national has no such entitlement or exemption. Under the new immigration legislation Commonwealth citizens will be brought into line with foreign nationals unless settled or ordinarily resident here before the provisions come into force.