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Deportation from the UK including removal directions | ICS Legal

Deportation orders exist under UK Immigration Law to authorise the removal of foreign nationals from the UK, regardless of any visa or other leave of stay they might have. Changes have been implemented from the Immigration Act 2014. 

​If you have been served removal directions or you are subject to deportation, please contact ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us on   

The first thing to note when dealing with deportation from the UK is to make a distinction between deportation and removal from the UK.

What is removal from the UK?

Removal from the UK occurs whereby the Secretary of State issues a Removal Notice on a person informing them that they are required to leave the UK.

  1. When will this occur? A removal notice is usually required when a person has no leave to remain in the UK as they have overstayed a previous visa or they have entered the country illegally when they first entered.

  2. If a person is removed from the UK, will they be allowed to return? In the situation where a person is removed from the UK, they will be able to apply to return to the UK. However, since the Immigration Act 2014 changes a person who has been removed from the UK may not apply for a visa for a period of 1, 5 or 10 years. This will depend upon whether they left under their own remit, or if they were removed.

What is deportation from the UK?

Deportation requires the individual to leave the UK and authorises his detention until he is removed – this is done through a document called a deportation order. In addition, the individual in question will also be prohibited from re-entering the country for as long as the deportation order is in force. In this case the deportation order does invalidate any leave to enter or remain in the UK, given to him before the order was made.  Accordingly a deportation order can apply to any foreign national in the UK even if they held a valid visa.

When will an individual automatically be deported from the UK?

Under Section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007 The Secretary of State has a duty to make a deportation order in respect of a person who is not a British citizen who has been convicted in the UK of an offence and sentences to either:

  1. A period of imprisonment of at least 12 months.

  2. A period of imprisonment of any duration for a particularly serious offence.

Are there any exceptions to this automatic deportation under Section 32?

Section 33 of the UK Border Act provides for the following exceptions to the duty of deportation provided for by Section 32. They are as follows:

  1. Where an individual raises claim for Asylum.

  2. Where an individual raises a claim under the Human Rights Policy.

  3. Where the foreign criminal was under the age of 18 on the date of conviction.

  4. Where the foreign criminal is an EEA citizen.

  5. Where the foreign criminal is the immediate family of an EEA citizen. 

  6. Where there are mental health problems or the individual is a recognised victim of trafficking.

However, in the circumstances that an exception applies this will not bar any request for deportation as the Secretary of State can still pursue a claim for deportation.

What is the process for deportation?

Notice of intention to deport

The first step in the deportation process is for the Home Office to issue a notice of intention to deport. The Home Office will take into consideration various factors when deciding whether to issue a notice of intention to deport. The factors which they will consider will relate to the following:

  1. The age of the person.

  2. The length of that person’s residence in the UK.

  3. The strength of that person’s connections in the UK.

  4. The personal history of the person – this will include their character, conduct and employment record.

  5. The domestic circumstances of that person.

  6. The nature of any offences which may have been committed by that person.

  7. The previous criminal record of that person.

  8. Any compassionate circumstances.

  9. Any representations received on the persons behalf.


Before a decision is made on whether to issue a deportation order to that person the Home Office will usually write to that person stating that they are considering issuing a deportation order against them and asking them to make certain representations to be made by a specific deadline.

This will then provide that person with an opportunity to argue the decision and provide reasons why they should not be deported such as Human Rights (right to establish a private and family life) or that there removal would be in contravention of the Refugee Convention.  An individual should try and include as much information as is possible at this stage.

Decision by Secretary of State

The Secretary of State will then issue a decision on whether the deportation order will be pursued. If the deportation order is pursued then the individual who is the subject of the order will have a right to appeal the decision.

Right to appeal

The right to appeal is the best way for an individual to put together a case as to why they should not be deported from the UK. Issues which can be examined here are witness statements from friends and family members and education qualifications can be brought into play here to try and convince an Immigration Judge that the case should not be followed. In most cases, your appeal will be heard once you have been removed from the UK. Click here to read more information on the appeal process and how we can help

What will happen following the appeal?

If the appeal is successful then the individual will have the deportation order imposed against them dropped. 

You may also like to read the following:

  1. Click here to read more information on how detention and bail work and the process to be released if you have been detained by the UK authorities. 

  2. You may also be able to submit a Human Rights application to challenge the deportation order, click here to read more information. 

  3. If you have been served removal directions, then you may be able to submit an application outside the Immigration Rules and details can be found here

UK Visas & Immigration Services | ICS Legal



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