In some circumstances a foreign national may face deportation from the UK.
Under UK immigration law a deportation order may be made against a foreign national. A deportation order not only authorises the individual’s removal from the UK but also makes him liable to be held in custody until he is removed.
A deportation order also means that the foreign national is ineligible to return to the UK while the order remains in force and takes precedence over any visa or other leave the foreign national previously obtained.
The Criteria for a Deportation Order
A foreign national may be made the subject of a deportation order for a number of reasons. These include:
- The Secretary of State believes that is in the interests of the public good that the foreign national is removed from the UK;
- The foreign national is the spouse, civil partner or child of an individual who is the subject of a deportation order; or,
- The foreign national is over 17 years old, has been convicted of a criminal offence which carries with it a prison sentence and the court which sentenced the foreign national recommended that he be deported once he has served his sentence.
There is a general presumption that a deportation order is in the interests of the public good and that this consideration will outweigh all over factors – unless deportation would breach the individual’s human rights or his rights under the European refugees convention. Indeed a deportation order should not be made against an individual if removing them from the UK would lead to a breach of the UK’s duties under the European conventions on human rights and / or refugees.
The Effect of a Deportation Order
Once a deportation order has been made against, and served on, a foreign national he may be held in detention without any further warning. Alternatively, other restrictions may be placed on his activities while he remains in the UK. When the foreign national is given notice of the deportation order he will also be notified of his rights of appeal.
Family Members of an Individual Facing Deportation
Although the family members of an immigrant facing deportation are also liable to be deported they may avoid deportation in certain circumstances. The spouse or civil partner of an individual facing deportation may not be deported if they have either qualified to live in the UK themselves – and not just as a family member of the immigrant to be deported – or if they live apart from them.
The children of a foreign national facing deportation may avoid being deported if they live with one of their parents separately from the individual to be deported, if they live alone and support themselves, or if they got married or entered into a civil partnership before the question of deportation arose.
Under UK immigration law a spouse or civil partner who has been deported because of their relationship with a deportee may apply to re-enter the UK if the marriage or partnership is ended. A child who has been deported may apply to re-enter when he reaches the age of 18.
Deportation After a Criminal Conviction
If a foreign national is convicted of a criminal offence which results in a prison sentence they are liable to be deported when they are released for prison. In some cases the sentencing judge will recommend that the individual be deported at the same time as he sentences them to prison.
The more serious the offence, the more likely a judge is to recommend that the foreign national be deported. Whether or not a judge has recommended deportation, when a foreign national is approaching the end of their sentence the Prison Service should notify the immigration authorities of his impending release. This should be done sufficiently far in advance so that preparations for deportation can be commenced in good time.
In cases where no recommendation for deportation was made by the sentencing judge a foreign national should be considered for deportation if he received a prison sentence of longer than one year, or two years in the case of a European citizen. In deciding whether a foreign national should be deported after he has served his sentence the immigration authorities will take into account the offender’s age, his links to the UK and the seriousness of his offence.
Since October 2000 a foreign national who is in breach of UK immigration law may face administrative removal rather than deportation. This could apply in the case of a foreign national who has breached the conditions of his leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who obtained permission to stay in the UK through deception.