Deportation from the UK
A deportation order requires an individual to leave the United Kingdom and authorises their detention until they are removed. It also prohibits the individual 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 for as long as the order is in force.
There are three circumstances under UK immigration law where a foreign national may become liable to deportation:
- A criminal court, as part of its sentence, makes a ‘recommendation’ that he or she be deported (s3(6) Immigration Act 1971);
- The Secretary of State considers that his or her continued presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good (s3(5) Immigration Act 1971);
- He or she is convicted in the UK of an offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months (s32 UK Borders Act 2007). This is described as "automatic deportation."
However, the Immigration Act 1971 states that an individual is excluded from the deportation process if they are:
- a British citizen (in law); or
- have a right of abode or are a Commonwealth citizen who was ordinarily resident in the UK on the 1st January 1973; and
- have lived in the UK continuously for five years prior to the offence or deportation decision.
- If you seek to rely on one of these exclusions then you will be required to provide evidence to support the fact that you are excluded.
- If none of these exclusions apply and you are liable to deportation, the following are examples of situations in which you can challenge deportation:
- You would be at real risk of harm if you were returned to your country of origin, or you are a refugee; or
- You would be separated from your family if you were deported or you have lived in the UK for a long time.
- The stronger your ties are to the UK, the more difficult it is for the UK Border Agency to justify deporting you.
- Factors to be taken into account include whether you are in a serious relationship, whether you have children, how long you have lived in the UK, what the condition of your health is and whether you are likely to re-offend again in the future; or
- You are an EEA National and your rights under European law would be breached by your deportation. There are increased levels of protection for EEA Nationals which makes it harder for the UK Border Agency to deport you; or
- You were under 18 years of age at the time of your conviction. Where deportation of minors is concerned, more serious grounds are required for the UK Border Agency to deport you; or
- You are facing extradition or have been ordered to serve your sentence in a psychiatric institute under certain provisions of the Mental Health Act.
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