UK Overstayers: Avoiding the Illegal Immigration Trap

Illegal immigration occurs when people, usually having entered the UK lawfully, remain in the UK in breach of immigration laws whilst they have no visa status. This has become a controversial issue in today’s society reflected by the Home Office’s recent harsh stance of literally telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home’ in spite of the fact that many may have established legal rights to remain.

The increasing rise in the number of visa overstayers has resulted in a substantial problem for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and has contributed to a backlog of half a million cases. If you currently have no UK visa status yet are living and working in the UK, you should ensure that you take advice from a solicitor (only solicitors have a strict legal duty of client confidentiality) and legally regularise your stay in the UK.

UKBA: Illegal Immigration & Enforcing the law

A recent raid involving UKBA enforcement officers in Mull, Scotland saw the arrest of 12 suspected immigration offenders with a further 6 being arrested in Glasgow . Timothy Reichardt, UK Border Agency official has previously stated:

“We continue to gather intelligence about people who remain in the UK in breach of their visa conditions and we are taking action against those not entitled to be here. My message to those who have no right to be in the UK is that you must leave the country. If you refuse, we will enforce your removal.”

Deporting Foreign Nationals with ‘no right to be in the UK’

Under UK immigration law, if a deportation order has been made against a foreign national, it not only authorises their removal but also renders them liable to be held in custody until they are removed.  The general presumption is that the deportation order is in the interests of the public good and that this consideration will outweigh all other factors – unless his deportation would breach his human rights.

It is understandable that a person living in the UK with no immigration status may have been here for many years such as if they were brought to the UK as a child. During this time, they may have adopted the culture and built strong relationships with settled persons. They may even have a family in the UK and as a result of many years living away from their home country may have severed ties. In these situations, these persons should seek legal advice on making their stay in the UK permanent legally.

UK Immigration Removal Centres

Foreign nationals who have been detained in custody will be transferred to immigration removal centres where they will be held until their removal. In the past, immigration removal centres have been criticised as being too harsh and treating detainees as criminals. Due to heavy campaigning from human rights groups and politicians, the Government introduced ‘Detention Centre Rules’ which serves as guidelines on how detainees should be treated whilst detained. Since its implementation, the situation has improved massively and detainees are now afforded basic rights such as visits from family members, food clothing and access to healthcare.

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