Clarifying the Myths and Realities of Immigrating to the United Kingdom | 08/2004

The May 1, 2004 enlargement of the European Union by 10 countries has brought a set of migration challenges for new and old Member States. There have been differing forecasts concerning the trends, composition, and magnitude of population movements that lay ahead. Information is an essential factor in migrants’ decisions to seek new opportunities abroad. Unfortunately, many migrants have limited knowledge of the actual situation they will be facing when moving to a new country.

Due to the fact that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of the only few countries which has opened its labour market to new migrants without restrictions, the British government through International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has established a regional information campaign designed to inform potential migrants in four EU accession countries (the Czech Republic, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Hungary) of the myths and realities of immigrating to the United Kingdom after the EU enlargement.

Since April  2004 the IOM provided objective information on immigration and working in the UK, the rights and obligations of immigrants, and the risks and consequences associated with abuse of UK laws and the social security system. The information was provided through various channels such as promotion information materials, printed answers to frequently asked questions, outreach activities or a hotline together with a migration information centre.