Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968

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Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968[1]
Long titleAn Act to amend sections 1 and 2 of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, and Schedule 1 to that Act, and to make further provision as to Commonwealth citizens landing in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid
Citation1968 c. 9
Territorial extent United Kingdom
Royal assent1 March 1968
Other legislation
Repealed byImmigration Act 1971
Relates toCommonwealth Immigrants Act 1962
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 (c. 9) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The Act[edit]

The Act amended the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, further reducing rights of citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations countries (as of 2010, comprising approximately 1.9 billion people) to migrate to the UK. The Act barred the future right of entry previously enjoyed by Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, to those born there or who had at least one parent or grandparent born there.


It was introduced amid concerns that up to 200,000 Kenyan Asians, fleeing that country's "Africanization" policy, would take up their right to reside in the UK. The bill went through parliament in three days, supported by the leadership of both the governing Labour and main opposition Conservative parties, though opposed by some Labour backbenchers, a few Conservatives such as Iain Macleod and Michael Heseltine, and the small parliamentary Liberal Party.[2][3]


In the wake of these subsequent reforms of the law on immigration from the Commonwealth to Britain, it became clear that the view of UK Government about immigration was changing. As the states in the British Commonwealth achieved independence, and the idea of a British Empire ceased to be a reality, the Government decided that a more reserved, conservative approach to immigration was necessary. Hundreds of thousands of African, Asian, and Caribbean expectant immigrants arrived by other methods, including through Europe and by methods that did not involve them having immigration visas. The 1968 Act was superseded by the Immigration Act 1971.


  1. ^ Short title as conferred by s. 7 of the Act
  2. ^ Mark Lattimer (22 January 1999). "When Labour played the racist card". New Statesman. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  3. ^ Hansen, R. (1999). The Kenyan Asians, British Politics, and the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1968. The Historical Journal, 42(3), 809-834