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Immigration Corner: Can he be deported without travel documents?

Published:Monday | November 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie, I know someone who is being threatened with removal from the United Kingdom. I know for a fact that he does not have any travel documents and I am wondering how he will be removed. Will the authorities be able to remove him?

- DT

Dear DT,

I have noticed that in your email you have not told me where this person will be removed to, however, I will try to give you a general overview.

There are various types of travel documents that may be used by the United Kingdom authorities to enforce a removal of someone without any travel documentation.

Persons can be removed on the following types of documents: They can be removed if they own valid passports; Emergency Travel Documents (ETD); European Union Letters (EUL); or Chicago Convention Letters (CCL), which are also known as a Chicago Convention Documents.

The United Kingdom authorities' process of creating a travel document for removal purposes is called redocumentation. Persons should be aware that where available, and subject to validity, the person's original travel document will always be used. However, in certain circumstances, the aforementioned types of documentation will be used.

ETDs are documents that are usually issued by the relevant embassy, high commission, or consulate, and the ETD redocumentation process is managed by Returns Logistics in the Home Office.

EULs are produced within the United Kingdom at removing offices, and the EUL redocumentation process is also managed by the Returns Logistics team in the Home Office. Whether EULs or ETDs are to be used for removal of persons to a particular country will depend on the country. The different countries that will use a particular type of documentation can be ascertained by reviewing the country returns documentation guide online. Persons should be aware that the authorities do have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in these types of processes.

CCLs are used to remove persons to countries that have signed up to the Chicago convention. The CCL redocumentation process is owned by Border Force operations advice and support. The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialised agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel.

The convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. The document was signed on December 7, 1944, in Chicago by 52 signatory states. It received the requisite 26th ratification on March 5, 1947, and went into effect on April 4, 1947, the same date that the ICAO came into being. In October of the same year the ICAO became a specialised agency of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Just for completeness, it should be noted that the convention has since been revised eight times 1959, 1963, 1969, 1975, 1980, 1997, 2000, and 2006. As of 2013, the Chicago Convention has 191 state parties, which includes all member states of the United Nations, except Dominica, Liechtenstein, Tuvalu, and the Cook Islands.

I hope this helps.

- 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: