Part One – Introduction
What would you do if you were told you must leave your home, family, friends and community to return to a country where you had no ties and no prospects? As we approach the second half of 2016, two cases involving removal of migrants have caught the publics’ attention, both in the UK and overseas.
The first concerns the Brian family who have a seven-year-old son and have settled in a remote part of the Highlands. The son is doing well and school and speaks Gaelic. Kathryn Brian has been offered a job by an employer who is willing to take on the responsibilities that come with sponsoring a non-EEA national. The family has settled into the community and desperately want to stay.
The second case involved a 92-year-old woman who had heart problems, loss of sight in one eye and no family in her native land. Myrtle Cothill who was being cared for by her only daughter, since February 2014, was told late last year to make immediate plans to leave the country after her visa application was rejected by immigration authorities.
Fortunately, the removal order was revoked following a massive publicity campaign led by Mrs Cothill’s barrister. Fresh medical evidence also showed that removal from the UK could prove fatal, a fact that forced the Home Office to back down on its decision to remove the frail widow from her only source of comfort and support.
What may surprise you is that the families involved in these cases are not criminals. Nor are they claiming welfare. They are normal, everyday people, who just happened to fall foul of the UK immigration system, through no fault of their own.
The nightmare of waiting
The plight of Gregg, Kathryn and Lachlan Brain, who are Australian, has been related in newspapers and on radio and television from Switzerland and Canada to China and, of course, their native Australia. They will find out their fate following the May bank holiday weekend.
The family entered on Kathryn’s student visa, intending to move onto a post-study work visa come expiry. But a year later, the Home Office cancelled that visa scheme retrospectively, leaving the Brains and thousands of other people with no right of appeal.
The family faces a nightmare long weekend, waiting for the Home Office to deliver its final decision on their fate.
The difference between administrative removal and deportation
Although the media tend to use the term ‘deportation’ ubiquitously when describing the removal of migrants from Britain, in most cases the people affected are subject to ‘administrative removal’.
Although the two processes have many similarities, there are key differences.
Deportation is the process by which a non-British citizen can be removed from the UK and prevented from lawfully returning
Those subject to a deportation order can be held in detention until they are removed from the country.
A deportation order can be made in the following circumstances:
- where the Secretary of State for the Home Department deems it to be ‘conducive to the public good’
- in cases where a migrant has been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment
- where the person is the spouse, civil partner or child under 18 years, of a person ordered to be deported
Administrative removal allows the Home Office to remove certain categories of people from the UK; for example, those denied indefinite leave to remain or whose visas have expired and they are unable to apply for a new one, as is the case of the Brian family.
Recently, the Home Office introduced re-entry bans for those who have been administratively removed. These provide for the mandatory exclusion from the UK of between 1 and 10 years of certain people who have been subject to administrative removal.
Those subject to deportation or administrative removal need to seek advice from an experienced immigration solicitor. Not only are there defences available, a solicitor can advise you as to whether the Home Office has grounds to remove you from the country or detain you until a decision is made.
In the next part of this series on administrative removal and deportation, we will discuss the grounds for a visa refusal and re-entry bans, which may lead to a person being administratively removed from the UK.
Sultan Lloyd Solicitors have the experience and expertise required to successfully advise individuals who face administrative removal or deportation. To find out how we can help you, please call our Birmingham office on 0121 222 7643.