Immigration Detention and Bail

Anyone subject to UK immigration control is able to be detained by immigration officers working for UK Visas and Immigration. A person “subject to UK immigration control” means anyone who requires leave to enter or remain in the UK. Read below to find out more on the rules and regulations on immigration detention and bail.

Who Can Be Detained?

The Immigration Act 2016 in Schedule 10 is the main provision which specifies immigration bail. It includes conditions and issues which must be considered by the First-tier Tribunal (“FtT”) or the Home office when a case seeking immigration bail is brought before them for consideration.

The following three groups of people can be detained under immigration powers (subject to immigration control):

  • An individual who may be detained pending examination and a decision on whether to grant, cancel, or refuse leave to enter.
  • People subject to immigration control who have entered the UK illegally or overstayed a visa, have been refused leave to enter, have failed to observe conditions attached to leave to enter, who have used deception in seeking leave to remain, can be detained pending a decision on whether to issue removal directions and pending administrative removal.  People reasonably suspected of falling within these categories can also be detained.
  • Foreign nationals who have served a criminal sentence of 12 months or longer or who are the subject of a recommendation for deportation can be detained post-sentence pending deportation.

The groups of individuals, as mentioned above, are usually detained made by immigration officers: on their arrival to the UK, whilst attending a reporting centre, after attending an appointment i.e. an asylum screening interview, or at the end of serving a criminal sentence. Individuals are usually detained in Immigration Removal Centres.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. At Lexvisa, our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please contact our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

How Long Can I Be Detained?

There is no limit on the length of time for which you may be detained (except in some cases, see below) as each case will be assessed on its own merits. Nevertheless, detention in all cases, can only be for a ‘reasonable’ period, which will be determined on the facts of each case.

Can I Still Be Detained If I Am Pregnant?

Yes, you may still be detained however there are limitations for you. UKVI is only authorised to detain pregnant women for a maximum of 72 hours which may be extended to 7 further days only where authorised by a Government minister. It is important to inform any immigration officer when you are pregnant.

Can I Still Be Detained If I Am Under 18?

Yes but only where you are part of a family group. UKVI is only authorised to detain a minor where they are seeking to remove your family from the UK under the Family Returns Process. Again, detention periods are limited to 72 hours which may be extended to 7 further days where authorised by a Government minister.

I Have Been Convicted Of a Criminal Offence, Am I More Likely To Be Detained?

There is always a presumption in favour of release i.e. a grant of bail however, UK Visa and Immigration (“UKVI”) will consider the seriousness of your criminal offence and consider whether there is a risk of harm to the public of you re-offending or attempting to escape when making their decision. In all cases, there is a likelihood that UKVI may detain you for a ‘reasonable’ period.

At Lexvisa, we have years of experience in assisting people subject to immigration controls who have been detained, and have made successful applications for bail on their behalf. Our experienced team can inform you on the likelihood of detention and advise you on applying for bail, where it applies to your case.

Can I Apply For Immigration Bail?

You may apply whether you are held in an immigration removal centre, a detention centre or a prison as long as you are being held on immigration matters. Applying for bail means you might be released from detention, subject to you having to obey at least one condition (see below).

What Are The Conditions For Bail?

Where you are granted bail, there will be at least one of the below conditions you will have to obey:

  1. Report regularly to an immigration official
  2. Attend an appointment or a hearing
  3. Residence restriction (restricting where you can reside within the UK)
  4. Electronic monitoring tag
  5. Restriction on study/work
  6. Any other condition that may be imposed

Additionally, there may be a ‘financial condition’ under which you (or your financial condition support) may be asked to pay a fine for breaching any of the above conditions.

What Happens If I Breach Bail Conditions?

If you find yourself in breach of your bail conditions, you most likely will be faced with any of the following consequences;

  1. Have your bail conditions modified into more strict restrictions.
  2. Be charged with a crime
  3. You (or your financial condition support) may have to pay the fine under the ‘financial conditions’ as agreed in the hearing.
  4. Be detained or returned to detention.

How We Can Help

We can apply for bail on your behalf in 2 ways, depending on your situation. We could seek Immigration bail for you by applying to either:

  • the Home Secretary (‘Secretary of State bail’) any time after you arrive in the UK
  • the FtT (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) – only if you arrived more than 8 days ago.

Additionally, if you are appealing to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission we can apply to them for bail on your behalf.

You might be referred for a bail hearing automatically if you’ve been in detention for 4 months or longer.

Can I Get My Bail Conditions Modified?

You may be able to get your bail conditions varied if your particular circumstances require adjustment without which you may very likely find yourself in breach of your conditions, for example; if you need to relocate to a different address.

The conditions can be varied by the forum which granted the bail;

For instance, if;

  1. The First-tier Tribunal granted you bail, you must apply for varying bail conditions on form B2 and send it to the First-tier Tribunal hearing centre nearest to you.
  2. The management of your bail has been transferred over to the Home Office, you must contact them to get your bail conditions varied.
  3. In case of being granted Secretary of State bail, to get your conditions varied you must speak to an immigration officer.

You must not breach any conditions under which you were granted until a decision has been made to change them.

Why Instruct Our Immigration Team?

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration Rules.

The benefit of instructing us is that we work with you throughout the entire process to make sure we have the correct documents and file a proper application, so we get it right the first time. We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other Central London courts.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02030110276 or complete our contact form.

Authored by Tehreem Fatima, Paralegal

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