By Oshin Shahiean, of OTS Solicitors
Oshin Shahiean is a founding partner at OTS Solicitors. He has years of experience in Immigration law and has managed numerous Judicial Review applications. Oshin is also regularly called on to provide expert opinion on television and print media, both in the UK and internationally.
OTS Solicitors is a Legal 500 recommended law firm and has won numerous other awards for our Immigration service (including a Global Excellence Award for the Most Trusted in Immigration Law). My team and I regularly advise and represent EEA and non-EEA migrants who are in detention or facing deportation.
Immigration bail is a vital lifeline for migrants being held in detention. The UK government has repeatedly been criticised for detaining migrants too frequently and for too long.
According to a report by the BBC in March, four men were found to be held for two years at Brook House Immigratio Detention Centre. Prison inspectors discovered the average period of stay at the facility near Gatwick Airport had risen from 28 to 48 days.
Twenty-three people were held for more than a year.
The increasing length of Immigration detentions has been blamed on delays in decision-making.
What is Immigration bail?
If you are being detained by the Home Office on Immigration charges and/or awaiting deportation, you can apply for Immigration bail while your case is waiting to be dealt with. It does not matter whether you are being detained in a detention centre, Immigration removal centre or prison, as long as you are being held on an Immigration matter.
If you have been detained for less than seven days, an application for bail can be made to the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO).
If you have been detained for more than seven days, a bail application must be heard before an Immigration judge.
If bail is granted, you will normally have to obey one or more of the following conditions:
- remain at a specified address.
- present yourself at a police station or Immigration officer on specific dates
- provide sureties
It is crucial to instruct an experienced Immigration lawyer to help you with your bail application to ensure it has the best chance of success.
A surety is a guarantee from another person that you will keep to the conditions of your bail and not try and disappear from authorities. They will offer a sum of money, which if you abscond or break your bail conditions, they will have to pay.
Many migrants who are detained by the Home Office do not know anyone in the UK who can provide a surety on their behalf. If you are in this situation, you may be able to persuade a charity to act as a surety on your behalf.
If you have broken the terms of your bail in the past or have committed serious criminal offences, you may be denied bail.
If you were refused bail in the last 28 days, you probably won’t get another hearing unless your situation has dramatically changed.
Changes to Immigration bail under The Immigration Act 2016
The Immigration Act 2016 made significant changes to Immigration bail making it lawful to set bail conditions when a person is released from Immigration detention even if they cannot lawfully be detained again. This reversed a judgment of the Court of Appeal which had found that if there was no legal basis for detention, there was no legal basis for setting bail conditions. The change is retrospective, so it applies to bail granted in the past, rendering conditions imposed lawful, as well as to the current and future bail provisions.
The Immigration Act 2016 also made provisions for electronic monitoring – ‘tagging’, to be made a condition of granting bail for those who have been convicted of a criminal offence, unless the Home Office deems it impractical or it will breach the migrant’s Human Rights.
If you breach your bail conditions, you could be returned to detention. The person or charity that has acted as a surety could also be obliged to pay money to the courts. If you do need to modify some of the conditions, such as change your address, you should notify the Home Office straight away and obtain permission.
OTS Success Stories
Our client was from South East Asia. They were serving a prison sentence in the UK. Their release date was late 2016. A deportation order was served on them, and they were further detained under Immigration powers pending deportation to their home country. We made representation to the Home office to challenge the deportation order, but these representations were refused. Within our pre-action protocol letter, we provided the Home Office with evidence that our client did not have anyone in Bangladesh, but had a spouse and child in the UK. We initiated legal proceedings in the form of an application for Judicial Review. Specifically, we challenged the decision on the grounds of family and private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Section 55 of the Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, which covers the best interest of the child. As we took the view that deportation was not imminent, we applied for our client to be released on bail. This was granted, and they were able to see their child. The Judicial Review is currently pending with the Upper Tribunal.
Our Immigration solicitors in London can provide the best advice and representation in relation to obtaining Immigration bail. We also advise on challenging an Immigration decision via Judicial Review or via an appeal on Human Rights grounds.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London and is Legal 500 leading firm. We work with many businesses and individuals, both in the UK and the Middle East. 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.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, indefinite leave to remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
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Posted on: Thursday, 16 November, 2017