Immigration Bill 2015

The government has published the new Immigration Bill 2015 with the aim of increasing tougher powers for the government to take action against those with no right to be in the UK. The main themes of the Bill include the following:

  • Removing the in-country right of appeal for Article 8 ECHR cases – migrants will instead have to leave the UK where they would then have an out-of-country right to appeal;
  • Creating a new offence of driving while unlawfully in the UK, maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and an unlimited fine in England and Wales;
  • Ensuring that only those people living in the UK lawfully can have access to UK bank accounts, driving license and rental accommodation;
  • Increasing the punishments for employing illegal migrants to five years imprisonment on indictment, up from two years.

The Bill also introduces a range of new powers to reduce the ‘pull’ factors that the government believes draws illegal migrants to the UK. The new powers include:

  • Introducing a new offence of illegal working;
  • Strengthening border security;
  • Electronically tagging people on immigration bail;
  • Stopping all support to migrants who do not return home after their asylum claim has failed;
  • Creating a new role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement;
  • Imposing a new skills charge on businesses who bring migrant labour into the UK (the fee will be contained in future regulations).

The next reading of the Bill is expected to be debated in Parliament next month. We will keep you updated with any amendments made to the Bill and also if it becomes an Act of Parliament if it is approved by both Houses and given Royal Assent.

Posted on Sep 16, 2015.


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