Tue | May 17, 2022

Immigration Corner | How to secure bail while being held on an immigration matter in the UK

Published:Tuesday | January 18, 2022 | 12:07 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I would like to know whether you can get bail if you are being held on an immigration matter.

– DM

Dear DM,

Persons can apply for immigration bail if the Home Office is holding them on immigration matters. This means that they might be released from detention, but they will have to obey at least one condition.

Persons can apply whether they are held in an immigration removal centre, a detention centre or a prison. They must be held on immigration matters.

WHEN PERSONS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET BAIL

Persons are more likely to get bail if they have a place to stay.

Their applicationsare also more likely to succeed if they have at least one financial condition supporter’. This is a person who:

• Will pay money if they do not follow the conditions of their bail;

• Can attend the bail hearing;

• Will give information about where they will stay and their financial condition supporters in the application form.

WHEN PERSONS MIGHT NOT GET RELEASED ON BAIL

Persons may find it harder to get bail if they:

• Have broken bail conditions in the past;

• Have a criminal record, and there is a risk they might reoffend.

Persons who are refused bail in the last 28 days will not get another hearing unless their situation has changed significantly. Applicants should explain what they think has changed in their application.

If refused bail, persons will get a written statement telling them why.

PERSONS DUE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE COUNTRY

Persons might not be released, even if they are granted bail. If their removal date is in the 14 days after they get bail, the Home Office will have to agree to their release.

CONDITIONS OF BAIL

If persons are granted bail, there will be at least one condition they will have to obey.

They might have to:

• Report regularly to an immigration official;

• Attend an appointment or hearing;

• Be restricted on where they can live;

• Have an electronic monitoring tag;

• Have restrictions on the work or studies they can do;

• Obey any other condition decided by the person granting their bail.

Persons or their financial condition supporter might have to promise to pay money if they break one or the other conditions of their bail. This is called a ‘financial condition.’

These conditions can be changed after they are granted bail.

If they do not follow the terms of their bail, they might:

• Have their bail conditions changed, so that there are tighter restrictions;

• Be charged with a crime;

• Have to pay the money agreed at the hearing – or their financial condition supporter might have to pay;

• Be returned to detention.

CHANGE THE CONDITIONS OF BAIL

Persons can ask to change (‘vary’) the conditions of their bail, for example, if they need to move to a new address.

If the First-tier Tribunal granted them bail, they should fill in Form B2 and send it to the nearest First-tier Tribunal hearing centre. Please be aware that the Home Office might oppose the request.

If the management of the bail has been transferred to the Home Office, contact them instead; and if on Secretary of State bail, speak to an immigration officer.

Please note that persons must continue to obey the conditions of bail until a decision has been made to change them.

All the best.

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, deputy global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com