Detention, Removal and Deportation in the United Kingdom


United Kingdom laws concerning the detention, deportation or removal of any individual have been outlined in Part 13 of the Immigration Rules of the country. The whole of the immigration rules touches upon several ways to settle in the United Kingdom which include different visa types (tier 1 immigration visa, tier 2 visa, tier 4, 5 visa, or UK investor visa etc.). Under Section 362A to 400 covered under Part 13, the laws laid out that if apply to any individual, cover the deportation procedure and necessary rights granted to the individual in this case.

Detention, by definition of UK law, applies to any individual who is:

  • The subject of a criminal conviction and where the court has recommended this as a result of his/her criminal offence
  • The subject of the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State recommendation who has instructed that the individual be removed from the country for the safety of the public
  • The married partner, registered civil partner or the child of any individual who is the subject of deportation. The child must less than 18 years of age to be considered a child under United Kingdom law.

If any individual has been instructed to leave the United Kingdom on the basis of a deportation order, a deportation order would be issued. A deportation states:

  • That leaving the United Kingdom has been made necessary for the individual.
  • That detention be legitimized for the individual and that the individual be held under detention until he/she has been successfully deported.
  • Cancel any leave or permit to stay in the United Kingdom as long as the deportation order is in effect.

Cases are govern by the Home Office and the Secretary of State who heads it. The Home Office can also hear other applications such as tier 1, 2, 4 and 5 visa applications (with categories such as UK residency by investment, UK investor immigration etc.) for temporary and permanent stay.

Which government department overlooks deportation in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State has the right to recommend deportation for any individual based on his/her professional assessment. The individual can be made the subject of a criminal court case. But, even if the criminal court does not recommend a deportation order, the Secretary of State who heads the UK Home Office, has the ability to start deportation proceedings under the authority given to the Home Office to deport individuals.

Can EEA nationals, foreign nationals or people who have been granted Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK become the subject of deportation from the United Kingdom?

Yes, EEA nations, foreign nationals and people with ILR can be deported as well. But, EEA nationals possess rights more powerful than the other two categories because of the United Kingdom being the upholder of International laws set by the European Union (EU). This makes it harder to deport an EEA national.

Bail for individuals who are the subject of deportation by the United Kingdom government

Any individual who has become the subject of deportation from the UK is not applicable to bail on arrival in the country. An individual can only apply for bail after a week has passed. But, this 7 day period is not applicable to any individual who has been held as an illegal entrant and given a Notice of Administration Removal.

Under a recent amendment in the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999, any person who has deportation case currently pending and the authorities have detained him/her until a decision is reached, can apply for bail at any time. Individuals who fall in this category can make their bail request to:

  • The Immigration Officer responsible for Temporary Admission
  • Chief Immigration Officer who is responsible for bail
  • The Immigration Tribunal that is responsible for bail

Can I challenge my detention if I believe I am being wrongfully held?

If all the possible options to you regarding your bail application have been denied, you possess the last option to challenge the lawfulness of the court order under which you have been detained. A Judicial Review will overlook your request or a Writ of Habeas Corpus will overlook the request in the Administrative Court.

What is Administrative Removal?

The United Kingdom Home Office is granted the authority to forcefully remove any individual that has entered the country illegally. An Immigration Officer (IO) makes his recommendation to the Home Office if he concludes that the individual is staying in the United Kingdom way past the period that was allowed of him. The Immigration Officer can also remove individuals if they are the family members of the person being ordered to deport the country. He/she can also remove the individual for using accomplished or unaccomplished deceptive means to enter or leave the country.

An individual can be detained through administrative removal. The scenarios of individuals being removed are:

  • He/she is still being investigated by an Immigration Officer regarding their application to stay or leave the country.
  • An individual was granted permission to enter the United Kingdom, but, an Immigration Officer has temporarily suspended this permission pending an investigation into the individual. Until a decision is taken by the officer, the person can be held under detention when they arrive to the country.
  • If an individual has been refused entry into the country or has been ordered to not leave the country, the Immigration Officer can detain the person until directions regarding their case can be given.
  • Any individual deemed an illegal entrant into the country or any individual suspected of illegally coming to the UK can be detained pending a decision on their case.
  • Any individual was granted limited approval to stay in the country defied any special instructions or preset conditions to the approval can be detained.
  • Any individual obtained their leave through deceptive means can be detained through authority of the government.
  • Any crew of a ship or an aircraft who were granted permission to stay in the United Kingdom for a limited time surpasses their approved end date can be detained. Any individual in this case who has purposefully avoided leaving the country will have serious action taken against him/her by the government.

What is automatic deportation?

As stated in the United Kingdom Borders Act of 2007, any individual who is not a citizen of the UK and has been convicted of a criminal offence and has a result been sent to jail for a period of 1 year is subject to automatic deportation under Section 32 of the act. The Secretary of State of the UK is the final authority that confirms the deportation under this law. Offences may vary, but are left to be based on the assessment and professional opinion of the UK Secretary of State as specified in Section 72(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002.

Are there any exceptions to being deported automatically?

There are several exceptions that can be made under national and international law.

  • If an individual is removed from the country which breaches his convention rights or a breach of the Refugee convention is made which the United Kingdom is obligated to follow, an exception is made on the automatic deportation process.
  • If the individual who was convicted of a crime was under the age of 18 when the crime was committed and the punishment was given, the UK Secretary of State will be forced to make an exception to automatic deportation.
  • If the criminal offence was made by a national of European Economic Area (EEA), automatic deportation would be exempted as otherwise the Community treaty would be violated by the government if forceful removal was made.
  • If an individual convicted of a crime has been issued a certificate under Section 2 or Section 70 of the Extradition Act of 2003, which categorizes several scenarios for the exemption process.
  • If the individual convicted of a crime is currently held in custody under Section 5 of the Extradition Act of 2003, which categorizes several scenarios for the exemption process.
  • If the individual convicted of a crime is issued a provisional warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act of 2003, which categorizes several scenarios for the exemption process.
  • If the individual convicted of a crime is issued a provisional warrant under Section 8 or Paragraph 5(1) (b) of schedule 1 of the Extradition Act of 2003.
  • If an individual has been proved to be mentally disordered under clear definitions of the United Kingdom laws such as Mental Health Act of 1983 or the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act of 2003.
  • If an individual in breach of United Kingdom law was the subject of human trafficking, the Home Office would have to exempt the automatic deportation procedure under the United Kingdom’s obligation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
  • Citizens of the commonwealth, Irish nationals, and those with the right of abode are exempted from automatic deportation under the United Kingdom Border Act of 2007.
  • Unless the citizenship of an individual with permanent settlement is voided, an individual holding permanent residency status cannot be automatically deported from the country.

Is it allowed to make appeals if the United Kingdom has issued a deportation order against you?

Every individual holds the right to make an appeal if a deportation order has been issued against him/her. The appeal is considered by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and the individual has to remain in the United Kingdom throughout the appeal process. You can also make an appeal to a criminal court related to your offence but you cannot appeal to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal regarding the reduction of your sentencing period. Sentence reduction can only be heard by the relevant court under which the individual was convicted.

A certain timeframe has been set under which the individual can file for an appeal. The Secretary of State and the respective Home Office cannot file a deportation order against you during this period. After the final verdict of the appeal made, or when the timeframe to lodge an appeal has expired, the Home Office will issue the deportation order considering the appeal was refused or no appeal was made.

With all exceptions that have been described, every individual that has been deported holds a significant chance to waive his deportation order. The Home Office considers appeals on a case to case basis so there is always a certain amount of chance that remains.

The Law society can be contacted regarding your case along with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to find an official who is willing to hear your case. This can be an Immigration Advisor or a Solicitor who specializes in Immigration and Asylum Law. These professionals are capable of giving the individual legal advice that can help them avoid deportation and detention.

You can refer to The Immigration Act of 1971 covering several other categories as well such as tier 1 immigration, UK investor visa investment options which covers UK residency by investment, or UK investor immigration etc.

Or the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002, or the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or the United Kingdom Act of 2007, or the United Kingdom Borders Act of 2007 for further guidance.

What are UK Removal Centers?

Detainees are taken to facilities that come under the provision of the UKBA to hold individuals who have no legal right to be in the country but have still crossed the border over to the United Kingdom. These are referred to as removal centers and temporary holding centers. Most often, individuals convicted of a crime in foreign land and who have fled to avoid imprisonment are held in this removal centers.