New Immigration Bill Introduced

A new bill affecting immigration has been introduced into the House of Commons.  This bill proposes a number of changes to the powers that immigration authorities and the courts have while fighting against illegal immigration.

The UK welcomes legal immigrants from around the world.  There is little impact on those that follow the immigration process and who are in the UK legally.  The Immigration Bill has been created to help officials deal with the spread of illegal immigration.

The bill has three main parts:

  • Appeals:
    • The bill will change some of the processes that deal with appealing a decision made by the courts (such as the decision to deport an immigrant):
      • The number of decisions that can be appealed has been reduced from 17 to 4.  These appeals must deal with the decisions that have been made, not with paperwork or clerical errors.
      • The government recognizes that in the past, appeals were necessary to correct paperwork or clerical errors.  The bill will allow these errors to be corrected through a different process, so that an appeal will not be needed.
      • The bill states that foreign criminals will be deported, unless there is a significant risk, and appeals will be heard in their home country.
      • Those who are being held in immigration detention centeres and who have been denied bail will only be able to appeal that decision under specific circumstances.
      • The Right for Private and Family Life.
        • The bill will end the abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life. While the government is mindful that everyone has a right to a private life, the bill will give authorities greater powers to
          • Collect and check fingerprints.
          • Search for passports.
          • Examine the status and validity of a marriage or civil partnership for those immigrants who wish to enter the UK because of their relationship.
          • Services and Work
            • The bill will also prevent illegal immigrants from accessing specific services and look for work.  This will make the UK less attractive for illegal immigrants.  Some changes are:
              • Proof of immigration status may be needed to rent a dwelling, open a bank account, and receiving a driving licence.
              • It will be illegal to hire illegal immigrants for work.  Employers will have to check to insure that everyone they hire is in the UK legally.
              • Those migrants who are in the UK temporarily will need to pay an amount toward the National Health Service.  This will be less than the normal amount due to their temporary circumstances.
              • The bill gives the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner more power to regulate those who make a business out of giving immigration advice, to protect potential immigrants from being exploited or cheated.
              • Simplify the structure of immigration fees that need to be paid.

 

  • Turning a bill into law
    • The bill has recently been introduced into the House of Commons.  The House of Commons must review the bill, make changes if necessary, and then vote on it.
    • If the bill receives enough votes in the House of Commons it will be sent to the House of Lords.  The House of Lords must also review and vote on the bill.
    • If the bill passes the House of Lords it will go to the Queen for approval.  This is only a formality.  If the House of Lords does not pass the bill it will go back to the House of Commons for changes.
    • If both Houses pass the bill in a reasonable amount of time, we can expect the bill to become law in the spring of 2014.