The draft Immigration and Citizenship Bill published last week by the Home Office replaces ten Acts of Parliament and enshrines into law the Government’s biggest ever shake-up of the immigration system. The key points in full are:
New powers for frontline UKBA officers at foreign ports and airports to cancel visas.
Bringing customs and immigration powers at the border into the 21st century, strengthening civil penalties for bringing passengers without correct papers and clandestine entrants to the UK.
The Bill proposes a clear legal duty on migrants to ensure they have permission to be in the UK, for example under our new points system.
The Bill introduces a single, streamlined power of expulsion for those without permission.
Earning the right to stay
Migrants will now have to earn their right to stay in the UK.
Automatic bans on returns with new powers to exclude offenders and powers to require those who are expelled to repay costs to taxpayers if we allow them to come back.
Playing by the rules
The Bill gives a new power to require large ‘bail bonds’ for those awaiting decisions or expulsion, part of a tough menu of conditions for “Immigration bail” as an alternative to detention.
Confirming tough measures to prevent organised illegal immigration by attacking illegal working with civil penalties for employers who do not make the necessary checks.
Simplifying our appeals system to cut red-tape; ensuring that the system is properly sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups: honouring our international obligations to refugees and ensuring the UKBA safeguards and promotes the welfare of children.
Managing any local impacts
Full access to benefits for citizens and permanent residents, with migrants contributing a little extra to the cost of local services.
The Home Office confirmed that newcomers will have to pay a little extra before they become citizens to create a fund of tens of millions of pounds a year to help police, schools, councils and local health services to use the money to deal with the short-term pressures of migration in their areas.
The changes are part of a massive shake-up to the immigration system, and to make sure these changes stick today’s Bill will see the currently complex immigration laws replaced by one simplified piece of legislation.
By updating the law, and getting rid of any room for misinterpretation, the UK Border Agency can cut red tape and accelerate the speed of its work.
These rule changes will part of a radical shake-up to the immigration system and have an impact on migration to the UK.
At this stage little detail has been given as to precisely how these measures, for instance “newcomers paying a little extra”, will be implemented. Further information will be published by Immigration Matters in due course.