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Grounds for exclusion

Grounds for exclusion

Exclusion of a person from the UK is normally used in circumstances involving national security, criminality, international crimes(war crimes,crimes against humanityor genocide), corruption and unacceptable behaviour

National security

National security threats will often be linked to terrorism. Terrorist activities are any act committed, or the threat of action designed to influence a government or intimidate the public, and made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause and that:

  • involves serious violence against a person

  • may endanger another person’s life

  • creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public

  • involves serious damage to property

  • is designed to seriously disrupt or interfere with an electronic system


Where appropriate non-European Economic Area(non-EEA)nationals with past or presentinvolvement in criminality, will normally be refused entry to the UK in line with Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. 

In the case of European Economic Area (EEA)nationals or their non-EEA national family members, refusal of admission will be 
in line with the EEA Regulations 2016. 

Exclusion will not usually be necessary, unless the level of criminality, or the threat posed by the person is so serious that it warrants exclusion by the Home Secretary. For example if a notorious or dangerous criminal is a non visa national, their ability to 
travel to the UK in the first place may be better prevented by exclusion. Exclusion may also be an option where a foreign national offender has left the UK before it has been possible to conclude the deportation process,preventing a deportation order 
from being made.This may be due for example to the person having left the UK voluntarily, or in some cases having been extradited either ahead of or early in the deportation process. In such cases the reason for having sought to deport the 
person should be considered as a basis for exclusion.

International crimes

War crimes are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed during an armed conflict. This includes an internal armed conflict within a State and an international armed conflict between States

The types of acts that may constitute a war crime include:

  • wilful killing

  • torture

  • extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity

  • unlawful deportation

  • the intentional targeting of civilians

  • the taking of hostages

Crimes against humanity are acts committed at any time (not just during armed conflict) as part of a widespread or systematic attack, directed against any civilian population,with knowledge of the attack. This includes:

  • murder

  • torture 

  • rape

  • severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law

  • enforced disappearance of persons

Genocide means acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.


There is no single accepted definitionof corruption. A number of organisations including Transparency International define it as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for private gain’. 

The types of activities associated with corruptioninclude, but arenot limited to the following:

  • tax evasion

  • money laundering

  • bribery and accepting kickbacks(part of an income paid to a person in return for an opportunity to make a profit, often by some illegal arrangement)

  • extortion

  • asset stealing

  • fraud

  • match fixing in sport

A person does not need to have been convicted of a corruption related offence in order to be excluded. Where there is substantive,reliable information that a person has been involved in corruption this should be taken into account.


In October 2015 the Government published its Counter-Extremism Strategy, which contains a commitment to make it more explicit that the criteria for exclusion on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour include past or current extremist activity, either here or overseas. A person who has engaged in unacceptable behaviour in the past may still be considered for exclusion unless it is clear that they have publicly retracted their views and it is clear that they have not re-engaged in such behaviour.

Unacceptable behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour covers any non-UK national whether in the UK or abroad who uses any means or medium including:

  • writing, producing, publishing or distributing material

  • public speaking including preaching

  • running a website

  • using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader

to express views which:

  • foment(provoke), justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance ofparticular beliefs

  • seek to provoke others to terrorist acts

  • foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts 

  • foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK

The list of unacceptable behaviours is indicative rather than exhaustive.  

Removal of existing status in the UK

Cancellation of leave

An exclusion decision does not invalidate any leave that the person may have. If,for any reason,a person who is to be excluded holds leave to enter or remain in the UKthat has not lapsed, the leave must be cancelled on conducive grounds, using the relevant provisions in the Immigration Rules.

Leavethat is in force, including indefinite leave to enter or remain, may be cancelled by virtue of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000(2000 Order)while the holder of the leave is outside the UK. Leave to enter can be cancelled by a Bord
er Force officer and leave to remain can be cancelled by the Secretary of Statein reliance on paragraph 321A(4) of part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

Revocation of entry clearance

If the person holds a valid entry clearance,unless it is revoked by an entry clearance officer,it will remain extant even if any leave it confers has beencancelled. For this reason, provided the entry clearance has not yet been activated, or there is no leave,you must 
also seek to have the entry clearance revoked by an entry clearance officer on conducive grounds under paragraph 30A(iii) of the Immigration Rules

Revocation of refugee status

If a person who is being considered for exclusion is a recognised refugee in the UK you will need to consider whether there are grounds to revoke refugee status. The process of revoking refugee status can be started whilst the refugee is outside the UK. 
For information on when revocation might be appropriate and what you need to do.

Revocation of European Economic Area (EEA) residence documents 

If a person who is being considered for exclusion holds a valid registration certificate, residence card, document certifying permanent residence or permanent residence card, the document must be revoked on grounds of public policy or public security in line with the decision to make an exclusion order.

Where the holder is in the UK, a decision to revoke any of these documents allows the person to appeal in the UK (in-country). In exclusion order cases the person must be outside the UK when the decision to revoke is takenand therefore any appeal will be out of country.

Deprivation of citizenship

While it is not possible to exclude a British citizen from the UK, it may be possible in certain circumstances to deprive a person
of their British citizenship under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981.If a person has been deprived of British 
citizenship, this would allow consideration of exclusion.You must seek advice about the potential eligibility of a particular case for 
deprivation action before any detailed consideration is given to exclusion.  


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