Put simply – immigration law govern how and people from countries outside the UK are legally allowed to come to the UK and how long they can stay. It is also about what they are allowed to do when they are in the UK, for example, whether they can work, whether relatives can come to the UK to join them afterwards, and whether they can use the National Health Service or claim benefits.
The system of immigration law in the UK splits people into two broad categories:
- ‘right of abode’ in the UK and who can live, work and move in and out of the country as they wish
- Those requiring permission to remain here.
The laws indicate different requirements that must be satisfied before someone will be granted leave to come and stay. The rules require that most of the categories of people coming to the UK will be able to support themselves without relying on public funds. People in most ‘temporary’ categories, such as visitors, will also need to show that they intend to leave the country when the purpose of their stay is over.
For immigration problems which you may need advice on, contact Chartlands Chambers. You should bear in mind that immigration laws are strictly enforced in the UK and the consequences of misunderstanding your right to be here can be very serious. It can include the risk of deportation. It is therefore essential to consult a specialist adviser if you are unsure about your position, or the position of family and friends.
Immigration laws encompass many occurrences including:
- obtaining permission to stay in the UK longer than originally intended
- getting permission to do something which you are not at present allowed to do, for example, being allowed to work
- bringing relatives into the country, for example, a spouse, fiancé, children
- being threatened with deportation from the UK
- being held by the immigration authorities in a detention centre
- wanting a passport and not knowing whether you are entitled
- wanting to apply to become a British Citizen
- if you are already living in the UK but wanting to travel (for example, for a holiday), whether you will be allowed back into the UK
- whether you are entitled to use state services or claim benefits, for example, education, health services, council housing, social security benefits, housing benefits, Council Tax Reduction
- the right to vote
- a relative or friend being refused entry to the UK when arriving at an airport or port.
The government has announced the introduction of the Immigration Bill on Thursday 10 October 2013. The bill will reform the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those who have no right to be here and will prevent illegal migrants accessing or abusing public services and the labour market.