New Immigration Act 2014 was published

The Immigration Act 2014 (hereafter “the 2014 Act”) now makes it even more difficult for people without leave to remain in the UK (illegal immigrants) to access a wide range of services in the UK and also affects all British citizens, EEA nationals, foreign nationals with legal status in the UK and all U.K. Employers. 

The Home Office have stated that the key points of the 2014 Act are: 

  • It introduces changes to the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those with no right to be here;
  • It ends the abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for family and private life;
  • It prevents illegal immigrants accessing and abusing public services or the labour market
  • It clamps down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a sham marriage or civil partnership; and 
  • It requires temporary migrants, (those with a time limit on their stay in the UK) to make a contribution towards the NHS.

The main changes that the 2014 Act brings are:

Removal of illegal immigrants from the UK – The 2014 Act now makes it easier and quicker to remove illegal immigrants and their family from the UK.

Appeal rights have been limited: The 2014 Act has limited when individuals can appeal a decision made by the Home Office to the First-Tier Tribunal. Rights of appeal have significantly been reduced from 17, down to the circumstances below:

An individual can only appeal against a refusal of:  

  • A human rights claim;
  • A protection claim (humanitarian protection and asylum); and 
  • A revocation of refugee or humanitarian protection status. 

NHS Service: – Foreign nationals with limited leave to remain or those who are not settled persons will have to pay a charge towards contribution to the NHS. A charge will also be applied to entry clearance applications for people wanting to remain in the UK for more than 6 months. This means that free NHS care will be only available to British nationals and those with settled status in the UK. 

Opening a bank account: Banks will be required to do a “status check” on individuals before they can open an account. If you do not have a right to be in the UK, you will not be able to open a bank account. 

Renting private accommodation: Private landlords will now have to check the individual’s immigration status before they can rent out accommodation.

Driving licenses: The DVLA will now be required to do checks on applications for driving licenses before being able to issue one. In addition, where someone has previously had a license issued when they had legal status, their license can be revoked if it is found that they have overstayed their leave and are now illegal in the UK.  This means that a license will only be issued once the DVLA has confirmed that the individual has lawful status in the UK. 

Deprivation of British citizenship: Another important part to the 2014 Act is that it now also allows the Secretary of State to deprive a naturalised British citizen of their British citizenship, if their actions have been prejudicial to the interests of the UK and the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to become a national of another country. 

There are other changes that have been brought through the introduction of the 2014 Act. However, the main changes detailed will have a significant impact on foreign nationals in the UK and those wishing to come to the UK. The introduction of the 2014 Act clearly shows the harsh laws that have been put in place to deal with migration in the UK. There is no doubt that it will also affect British citizens and European nationals. 

Posted in English on May 28, 2014.