EU Nationals, Detention and Bail
The number of EU nationals being detained in the UK has increased fivefold since Theresa May became Home Secretary and then Prime Minister, it has been revealed in the Independent.
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In 2015, the last year for which Home Office Records are available, 3,699 EU nationals were detained under Immigration powers, compared with 768 in 2009.
Why has there been such a dramatic increase? And what are the rights of EU citizens who find themselves in Immigration detention, being threatened with deportation?
As one of the UK’s best and most experienced Immigration lawyers, OTS Solicitors is endeavouring to discover the root of this increase in EU national detentions. This article has been written specifically to assist those who are currently in detention to determine their next move.
Why are more EU nationals being detained?
Some, including prominent Immigration barristers and solicitors, believe the British government may be increasing the number of EU nationals it detains to deter others from coming.
It is believed this hostility could intensify after Article 50 is triggered.
The Independent reported one Polish national, working in the UK with the right to be in the country, was detained after officials apprehended him in a public park while having birthday drinks.
The Home Office advised him he was being expelled for “abusing his EU law rights”, and remained in detention for five months despite there being an injunction stopping his removal.
There has been no official line from the Home Office announcing that a tougher stance is being taken on EU nationals. Instead, like a lot of actions surrounding the status of EU citizens in the UK, increased detention appears to be happening by stealth.
The law surrounding the detention of EU nationals
EEA nationals and their family members may be detained:
- if they enter or try to enter the UK in breach of a deportation order
- pending an Immigration officer’s decision on whether to admit them under the EEA Regulations 2006 on their arrival in the UK
- pending an Immigration officer’s decision to admit them where there is reason to believe they could be excluded from the UK on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health
- if they have been refused admission to the UK because they do not meet relevant criteria under the EEA Regulations 2006 and are awaiting removal
- pending their removal following revocation of their residence documents on arrival in the UK on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health, alleged abuse of rights or because the requisite criteria under the EEA Regulations 2006 are not met
- pending their removal if they no longer have residence rights under the EEA Regulations 2006, or
- where they have been admitted, and there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they will be removed on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health
Unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, torture victims, victims of trafficking, elderly people and those with learning disabilities should not be held in detention.
A person who has been detained under Immigration laws can apply for bail. This will allow them to leave the detention centre, although it is likely that certain conditions will be attached to the release.
The best way to apply for bail is to instruct an experienced Immigration lawyer to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) or the Chief Immigration Officer (if you were detained less than eight days ago) or the Home Secretary (if your detention started more than eight days ago).
Factors that will increase your chances of being granted bail include:
- not having a criminal record or breaching bail conditions in the past
- having a place to stay
- having a ‘surety’ of who can put up a sum of money to guarantee that you will not break your terms of bail
Your bail is likely to be granted with certain conditions attached such as:
- you must live at the same address while on bail
- you must report regularly to an Immigration official
If you breach your bail conditions, you can be immediately returned to a detention centre.
The number of EU nationals being held in detention looks to be increasing. To protect your position, if you are an EU citizen living in the UK, it may be prudent to obtain an EU permanent residence Card and British Citizenship as soon as possible to solidify your rights.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We can assist you in applying for a permanent residence Card and British Citizenship and answer any question you may have on your rights to remain in the UK following Brexit.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.