Immigration Corner | What is deportation?
Dear Mr Bassie,
What is meant by deportation and administrative removal with respect to United Kingdom immigration, and how do they work?
Sections of the United Kingdom Immigration Act 1971 regulate administrative removal; deportation is regulated by section 10 of the United Kingdom Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. A deportation order authorises the detention, pending removal, of the person named in it. It also prohibits the person from re-entering the country for as long as it is in force, and invalidates any leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom given before the order was made or while it remains in force. Deportation is normally used for the more serious cases, where the secretary of state deems the person's deportation to be conducive to the public good, or where a court recommends deportation in the case of a person over the age of 17 who has been convicted with an offence punishable with imprisonment.
The immigration rules set out the considerations to be applied in considering whether deportation is the appropriate course of action. It also states that while each case will be considered on its merits, where a person is liable to deportation, the presumption shall be that the public interest requires deportation. It further goes on to make it clear that it will only be in exceptional circumstances that the public interest in favour of deportation will be outweighed by other relevant factors.
The immigration rules also cover administrative removal. The circumstances in which a person becomes liable to administrative removal are: failure to comply with conditions of leave to enter or remain or overstaying; obtaining leave to remain by deception; being the spouse, civil partner, or child under 18 of a person in respect of whom removal directions have been given.
All relevant factors are to be considered before a decision to remove is given - age, length of residence, strength of connections with the UK, personal history, domestic circumstances, previous criminal record, compassionate circumstances, and any representations received on the person's behalf. After notice of a decision has been issued, the person may be detained or made the subject of a restriction order, requiring reporting to the police pending removal. An order for removal, unlike a deportation order, does not prohibit re-entry.
The immigration rules which are considered above set out the requirements to be followed by immigration officers in reaching decisions on deportation and administrative removal and will also be the basis of an immigration judge's decision on appeal. Orders of either category may be made against failed asylum seekers; the choice will be dependent on the circumstances of the case. Persons faced with the prospect of such orders, who have not previously claimed asylum, will often do so to stave off the order. It sometimes happens that failed asylum seekers at this point submit fresh claims and such claims will be accepted only if they are significantly different from material that has previously been considered and create a realistic prospect of success. As in the case of other appeals, the act provides for applications to the appropriate court because the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal made an error of law, for an order requiring the tribunal to reconsider its decision. As previously noted, that authority is at present exercised by senior immigration judges of the tribunal itself.
- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:firstname.lastname@example.org