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Immigration Bill: overview

A new Immigration Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015. It implements a number of policies in the Conservative party manifesto and further proposals from the Prime Minister’s immigration speech that took place immediately after the general election. The UK is one of the most successful multiracial democracies in the world; because of that, more people want to come here than ever before. With increased demand comes a growing number of people willing to disobey our immigration controls and others who take advantage of vulnerable migrants by promising a better life but delivering the opposite. A new director of labour market enforcement will bring better co-ordination to existing regulators and ensure that the enforcement effort is targeted to prevent exploitation. We are increasing the penalties for those who repeatedly employ illegal migrants as a source of cheap labour. And illegal workers themselves will be committing a new offence and their earnings will be seized. To reduce demand for migrant labour further, the bill will establish a new ‘immigration skills charge’ that certain employers will have to pay if they wish to bring certain workers into the country. The funds raised will be used to develop skills...

Visa premium service centres

You must go in person to a premium service centre if you want to apply to extend your visa or to settle in the UK and get a decision on the same day. You must be applying from within the UK to use this service. Most applications are processed the same day if you bring all the information needed to your appointment. Fees You must pay £500 to apply at a premium service centre, in addition to the standard application fee and the healthcare surcharge (if you need to pay it). You don’t have to pay the premium service fee if you’re applying for anEuropean Economic Area (EEA) registration certificate or to work in the UK as a Croatian national. Your application may take longer than a day if extra checks are needed. If your application is delayed for other reasons, eg IT problems or a fire evacuation, you may be able to get a refund of the premium service fee. You won’t get a refund of the fee if you haven’t paid the correct amount of healthcare surcharge before your appointment. Not all types of application can be made in person. Contact ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 to book your...

Immigration Bill 2015/16 Factsheet – Enforcement Officer Powers

What are we going to do? Tackle illegal immigration and minimise its impact on public services, communities and businesses in the UK. Facilitate greater collaboration between immigration enforcement, the police and other government agencies. How are we going to do it? Equip immigration officers with enhanced search and seizure powers to collect evidence that will help to secure more civil penalties and removals. Work more closely with police by aligning existing warrant powers. Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: “Clamping down on illegal immigration – and the unscrupulous people who seek to exploit it for their own gain – requires many different government departments and agencies to work together. “Enhancing the powers immigration officers have will not only help them carry out their own work more effectively, but will also be of benefit to other law enforcement agencies who are working hard to tackle crime.” Background Immigration officers currently have powers to examine, arrest and detain illegal migrants for the purpose of removal. They also have search powers to find passports and travel documents to aid removal. But if they find other evidence of use to law enforcement partners they cannot always act. The Immigration Bill will give immigration officers powers...

Immigration Bill 2015/16 Factsheet – Labour Market Enforcement

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: “Exploiting or coercing people into work is not acceptable. It is not right that unscrupulous employers can force people to work or live in very poor conditions, withhold wages or mislead them into coming to the UK for work. “Some employers seem to think that by employing workers who are less likely to complain, including vulnerable migrants, they can undercut the local labour market and mistreat them with impunity. The UK has a strong legal framework in place to ensure that minimum standards are met for workers. There are three main public bodies responsible for enforcing these requirements: a team in HMRC which enforces the National Minimum Wage; the Gangmasters Licensing Authority; and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (“the enforcement bodies”). Background However, because of an increase in organised criminal activity engaging in labour market exploitation, we believe that there is exploitation in the labour market that none of the enforcement bodies is designed to deal with. This kind of worker exploitation often appears to involve migrant workers. Part of the Government’s response to this problem is to establish greater co‑ordination and leadership of the enforcement bodies to drive effective activity. Therefore, this Bill will...

Best interest of children and immigration law

The power to certify that removal pending appeal against a refused human rights claim would not cause serious irreversible harm or breach human rights will in some cases impact on children. There is a clearly established framework of legislation, judicial decisions, guidance and procedure around how immigration decisions which affect children are made, which will apply to any decision to certify a refused human rights claim. The “children duty” Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 establishes a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of any child in the UK who will or may be affected by any immigration decision. This duty will apply to a decision to certify a human rights claim. In any case, where the decision maker is aware that there is a child who is affected by her decision, the decision maker will have regard to the best interests of that child as a primary consideration in deciding the human rights claim and also in deciding whether to certify the claim so that the appeal is heard after the person has left the UK. Individual circumstances of each case While...

Appeals from overseas

Since the Immigration Act 1971 there have been immigration appeals from people overseas. As well as appeals for ‘clearly unfounded’ claims, entry clearance appeals are always heard while the appellant is out-of-country. Out of country appeals in entry clearance cases or clearly unfounded claims can raise human rights issues so looking at how those appeals work now is instructive when considering whether out-of-country appeals are fair and effective. Exercising an appeal right from outside the UK does not mean appeals are less likely to succeed. Internal Home Office statistics for the last 5 years (to July 2015) show that 38% of entry clearance appeals succeed. The Court of Appeal examined overseas appeals in the context of the ‘deport first, appeal later’ power in the Immigration Act 2014, the power we are extending in this bill. In the case of R (Kiarie and Byndloss) v SSHD [2015] EWCA Civ 1020 the Court of Appeal held that fact that an appeal must be brought from overseas does not of itself breach Convention rights because it provides a remedy ‘that meets the essential requirements of effectiveness and fairness’. The Court of Appeal said that “an out of country appeal will be less advantageous...

Immigration Act 2016

Immigration Act 2016 will bring about new changes to the appeal process as well as human rights applications. Appeals within the UK: certification of human rights claims This change delivers the manifesto commitment to expand the use of the ‘deport first appeal later’ power. It has long been established that in some cases a person can be removed or deported before their appeal is brought or heard. The last Labour government introduced powers in 2002 to certify that a person making a ‘clearly unfounded’ asylum or human rights claim could be removed prior to bringing their appeal. Then the 2014 Immigration Act created the power to allow arguable claims from foreign national offenders to be certified so that the appeal must be brought from outside the UK where removal pending the appeal would not cause serious irreversible harm or otherwise be in breach of the person’s Convention rights (or the rights of any other person affected by the decision). This power is commonly called ‘deport first, appeal later’ Clause 34 will extend that power so it applies to all cases where a person has made a human rights claim, been refused and has an appeal against that refusal, provided that...