COVID-19 is continuing to have a serious impact on all of our daily lives. Foreign nationals who are in the UK’s Immigration Detention system are no different. With large numbers of people being kept in close proximity to each other, it is no wonder that many immigration detainees are hugely concerned about their health and contracting this deadly virus. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in detention and deportation matters and can assist with preparing successful Immigration Bail applications. During this deeply troubling time, it is important to get the correct information regarding your immigration situation and we are happy to schedule a telephone or Skype meeting to discuss yours or your family member’s matter in more detail.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on Immigration Detention?
The Home Office has already released around 350 people from Immigration Detention. But, on 18 March 2020, a senior official told the Home Affairs committee of MPs that “there is no plan to have a wholesale systematic release from our immigration removal centres”. In fact, the High Court rejected a legal challenge on 25 March 2020 that argued for detainees to be temporarily released from Immigration Detention whilst the COVID-19 crisis was continuing.
In response, the Home Office has said that:
- It would ensure detainees showing symptoms or those at higher risk are put in single-occupancy rooms and given specific care plans;
- It would introduce social-distancing measures in communal spaces; and
- It is to provide anti-bacterial cleaning materials to detainees on request.
The BBC reported that a detainee at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre had recently tested positive for Coronavirus, yet new detainees are still being brought there. However, a Home Office spokesperson has said that “We are following the latest guidance from Public Health England and have moved all women in Yarl’s Wood to single rooms”. From 26 March 2020, all visits to immigration removal centres have been suspended.
But the question is whether this is enough to protect all the detainees. And it also raises the question: with many countries closing their borders and no available flights, Immigration Judges may have to consider that the removal of detainees are no longer imminent and therefore grant immigration bail accordingly.
COVID-19 update: What is Immigration Detention?
Non-settled individuals who are in breach of the UK’s immigration laws may be put in Immigration Detention. This is in the view that they will then be removed from the UK. These individuals can either be detained in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), Short-Term Holding Facilities or even in prisons. Unlike the rest of Europe who, under the EU Returns Directive, only holds migrants in immigration detention for a maximum of 18 months, the UK has no time limit; therefore it is not uncommon for detainees in the UK to be held for years. This is despite the Home Office’s own statement by then Immigration Minister Caroline Noakes who stated: “detention must be used sparingly, and for the shortest period possible”. It may be possible to apply for Immigration Bail, but even if this is granted, individuals will then need to obey at least one bail condition.
The Home Office has updated its website with the following statement in relation to Immigration Bail:
“Following Public Health England’s advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), the Home Office has decided that reporting as a condition of immigration bail should be temporarily deferred while it reviews how frequently people should report. You will receive an SMS text message soon with details of your next reporting date.”
Can I still see an Immigration Lawyer given the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes. We are a technologically advanced law firm and are well equipped for the current situation and have the resources and infrastructure to support you with any UK immigration issue.
The well-being of our team and our clients is our priority. We are following the advice to maintain social distancing, therefore we will hold all meetings with clients via video conferencing or via our telephone conferencing facilities for the foreseeable future.
Please contact our Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with us so we can assess your case in more detail and give you advice specific to your individual circumstances.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London for advice regarding UK Visas and Immigration during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative in order to advise on a UK Visa and Immigration appeal.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications that are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your appeal succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided and directions complied with.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your appeal meets the relevant regulations.
Successful UKVI applications using our Immigration Solicitors in London during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department.
We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
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.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.