Immigration Act-fundamental changes to how our immigration system functions.

The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent today (14 May) making way for a series of reforms which will ensure our immigration system is fairer to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tougher on those with no right to be here.

The Immigration Act 2014 contains 77 clauses and makes fundamental changes to how our immigration system functions.

It will limit the factors which draw illegal migrants to the UK, make it easier to remove those with no right to be here and ensure the Courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in immigration cases.

Immigration Act

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:

The Immigration Act is a landmark piece of legislation which will build on our existing reforms to ensure that our immigration system works in the national interest.

We are already planning its implementation and will ensure these measures are introduced quickly and effectively.

The Immigration Act will significantly enhance the way Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas & Immigration undertake their work to secure the border, enforce the immigration rules and continue to attract the brightest and the best.

Highlights of the Immigration Act

  • Cutting the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4, while allowing us to return certain harmful individuals before their appeals are heard if there is no risk of serious irreversible harm
  • Ensuring that the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8 claims in immigration cases – making clear the right to a family life is not to be regarded as absolute and unqualified
  • Clamping down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a sham marriage or civil partnership
  • Requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, preventing those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing
  • Introducing a new requirement from temporary migrants with time-limited immigration status by requiring them to make a financial contribution to the National Health Service

The Immigration Act will also include powers to prevent repeat bail applications when a removal is imminent, revoke driving licences held by immigration offenders and allow the Home Secretary to deprive a naturalised individual of their British citizenship if their actions have been seriously prejudicial to the interests of the United Kingdom and the Home Secretary has reasonable grounds for believing the person is able to become a national of another country.

The Immigration Act has been a collaborative effort, involving the Home Office, 12 other government departments, the devolved administrations and the Crown dependencies.

It also continues the Home Office’s work to reduce net migration by focusing on eliminating immigration abuse, including removing from the UK those with no right to be here and preventing others from entering.