Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968

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

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 extentUnited Kingdom
Royal assent1 March 1968
Other legislation
Repealed byImmigration Act 1971
Relates toCommonwealth Immigrants Act 1962
Status: Repealed

The Act

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, including Commonwealth realms and Commonwealth republics) 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 Labour backbenchers, a few Conservatives such as Iain Macleod and Michael Heseltine, and the small parliamentary Liberal Party.[2] The passage of the Act was among the most divisive and controversial decisions taken by a British government.[3]


The 1968 Act was superseded by the Immigration Act 1971.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 Mar 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. Hansen, R. (1999). The Kenyan Asians, British Politics, and the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1968. The Historical Journal, 42(3), 809-834