As of today, 30 October 2017 new measures have been introduced (Right to Bank) by the Home Secretary to further crack down on net migration in the UK. Section 45 (bank accounts) and Schedule 7 of the Immigration Act 2016 are now fully operative and all banks in the UK will have an obligation to check the immigration status of existing and new bank account holders. We have previously written about the controversial Home Office measures such as the Right to Rent and Right to Work checks. It is clear the Home Office is implementing these measures to encourage migrants to regularise their immigration status in the UK as well as to deter illegal migration to the UK.
New Right to Bank Check under the Immigration Act 2016
Earlier today new measures were introduced requiring all UK banks to check the Immigration status of all new and existing bank account holders in the UK. The purpose of the Right to Bank Check is to deter illegal migration to the UK and to encourage migrants in the UK to regularise their status by submitting a UKVI Home Office application.
Banks are now required to conduct quarterly periodic checks and banks and building societies who fail to comply with Right to Bank checks will be held accountable by the Financial Conduct Authority. As soon as a bank identifies an account holder as someone without valid immigration status, the bank is required to inform the Home Office. The bank will then proceed to freeze the bank account and further investigate whether the person is entitled to be in the UK by liaising with the Home Office. The Home Office has been criticised for introducing the Right to Bank Check as this measure could potentially leave people vulnerable with no access to their money for everyday living expenses. Whilst the Home Office has promised to allow people who fall victim to the Right to Work Check to apply to the court to have access to some of their funds for everyday essentials. The Immigration Law Practitioners have criticised the introduction of the Right to Work Check as they believe
“The Home Office frequently provides incorrect or out of date information about a person’s immigration status.”
The Home Office has now also published new Policy Guidance for Banks informing them of their obligation to check the status of all account holders. To see the new Policy Guidance please see below: Guidance for Banks and Building Societies on carrying out Immigration Status Checks on Current Account Applicants | LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers
Right to Rent and Right Work Checks under the Immigration Act 2016
In addition to the Right to Bank Check, the Home Office also has the Right to Rent and Right to Work check measure to prevent illegal migration. The Right to Rent Check requires landlords and letting agents to conduct an obligatory Right to Rent Check ensuring tenants have valid Immigration Status in the UK. Failure to comply with a Right to Rent Check could result in landlords being fined up to £3000 per illegal tenant. In order to successfully conduct a Right to Rent landlords must establish what immigration status their tenants.
Similarly, employers must also conduct a Right to Work Check for all overseas workers. A failure to comply with Right to Work Check could result in employers being liable for a civil penalty of £20,000.
Using Legal Representation to Comply with the Right to Bank Check and Regularise your UK Immigration Status
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status ensuring you comply with the Right to Bank Check. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to assist you with understanding and complying with a Right to Bank Check.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
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 you comply with the Right to Bank Check.
Successfully Comply with the Right to Bank Check and Regularise your UK Immigration Status
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 whether you comply with the Right to Bank Check 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.
Our offices 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 meet 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.