Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Is it True That Immigrants Who Commit an Offence Face Deportation From the UK?

Date: (23 September 2011)    |    

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Duncan Lewis:In some cases, foreign nationals may be subject to deportation from the UK. Deportation orders are a provision of UK immigration law that can be used to deal with foreign nationals under certain circumstances. When a deportation order is issued the individual will be removed forcibly from the UK, and may also be held in custody until they are removed. The individual to whom a deportation order is issued will not be able to return to the UK whilst it remains in force. This will replace any leave to remain that the individual had formerly obtained, such as a visa.

There are several reasons why a foreign national may be subject to a deportation order. The interests of the public good may be cited as the overriding reason by the Secretary of State, or they could be the partner or child of someone who has received a deportation order. If the individual is aged 17 or above and has committed a crime that involves a prison sentence, he or she may be deported if the court recommends it after serving their sentence.

The general concern in connection with the issuing of a deportation order is that it is in the interests of the community as a whole, i.e. ‘the public good’; this is the overriding issue unless the rights of the individual under the European Refugees Convention are being contravened. The UK, like all other signatories to the Convention, has certain obligations and a foreign national will not be removed if the individual’s rights are contravened by doing so. Immigration solicitors can be consulted about the exact terms of foreign nationals’ rights in this connection.

The foreign national who is the subject of a deportation order will often be detained once the order has been served, and no notice need be given for this. Rather than detention, other restrictions on his activities could be put in place while he remains in the UK. Of course, the individual will be treated in accordance with UK law and his rights to appeal against the order for deportation will be made clear to him when it is issued.

Family members may also be deported as well as the foreign national against whom the order was issued, although there are some circumstances where this can be avoided; for example, in cases where the family member lives apart or has separate rights to remain in this country. Solicitors such as Duncan Lewis can provide advice and guidance in cases such as these. Likewise, if any children live with the separated parent, or live by themselves and support themselves, or married before the matter of deportation came up, then they may be able to remain in the UK.

Where a criminal offence has occurred, the judge may recommend deportation after the sentence has been served; the more serious the crime, the greater the likelihood that this will occur. The Prison Service is notified of the prisoner’s release in plenty of time for deportation arrangements to commence. Even in cases where the judge does not recommend deportation, this can still happen if the prison sentence was for a period of longer than one year.