The UK Border Agency has appointed Capita, a private ‘bounty hunter’ company, to track down 150,000 overstaying students and migrants so they can be removed or deported from the UK.
Capita has been criticised for sending thousands of text messages, some to British Citizens of migrants with valid leave to remain in the UK, ordering them to “leave the country” in what appears to be an unlawful manner – without official removal directions on which you can lodge an appeal.
The UKBA say:
“It is vital that we contact people who no longer have permission to remain in the UK and facilitate their return home to maintain control over our immigration system.
“Capita is working on cases in the migrant refusal pool (MRP) which consists of records of people who have applied to remain in the UK but been refused or had their leave curtailed. Capita will be contacting these applicants to establish their current circumstances and, where appropriate, inform them of the requirement to leave the UK.
“Capita will typically be contacting foreign nationals who have entered the UK on valid visas and have subsequently been refused an extension of leave to remain, but evidence of their departure has not been confirmed.”
Immigration Matters has seen a sharp increase in emails from overstayers arrested and detained pending removal from the UK. The bonus driven Capita has been busy and appear to be getting on with the job of finding 150,000 overstayers in a way that the UKBA could not manage.
Leading adviser Cynthia Barker said that since Christmas she has been inundated with calls from people detained and issued with removal orders, even when they have a right to a private or family life in the UK, for instance where are in a relationships with a British citizens or EEA nationals and should have taken steps to regularise their stay in the UK before being picked up.
Cynthia advises that anyone who receives a letter or text message asking them to sign forms and leave voluntarily, should immediately see an immigration specialist.
“Do not sign any forms without talking to an immigration law specialist, but don’t wait to get picked up and removed.
“Regularise or legalise your stay in the UK, before you get arrested and removed.” She added.
Migrants fail to take action or are unaware of their human rights and are needlessly removed or deported. Once out of the UK, they will not have the same access to justice or the chance of an in-country appeal.
In certain cases you could have a right to an in-country appeal, even if the UKBA say your appeal must be heard outside the UK.
Immigration Matters has teamed up with a network of immigration law practitioners to offer bail and appeal services for those who find themselves locked in detention centres.
If you have been detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
Related Immigration Articles:
The UKBA now issues Capita’s contact details for reports of illegal immigrants or overstayers. Capita can be contacted on 0844 3754 636 or email CapitaContact@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.