Deportation from the UK

Deportation or removal

Deportation is the enforced removal of non-UK nationals who have breached UK immigration rules, whether because they are here illegally or because they are ‘over stayers’. Removal from the UK is when the Secretary of State issues a Removal Notice to an individual informing them that they are required to leave the UK.

When will Removal occur?

A removal notice is usually required when a person has no leave to remain in the UK because they have overstayed a previous visa, or they entered the country illegally.

If a person is removed from the UK will they be allowed to return?

Where an individual is removed from the UK, they may be able to apply to return to the UK. However, since 2008 a person who has been removed from the UK may not apply for a visa for a period of 1, 5 or 10 years, depending on whether they left under their own volition, or whether they were removed.

What is deportation from the UK?

Deportation is for the public good and requires a foreign national to leave the UK, and authorises his detention until they are removed from the UK. A deportation order can apply to any foreign national, even if they hold a valid visa. They will be prohibited from re-entering the country for the duration of the deportation order; and any leave to enter or remain in the UK given before the order was made is invalidated.

When the decision to make a deportation order has been taken, a notice will be given to the individual concerned informing them of the decision.

When will an individual automatically be deported from the UK?

Under Section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007, the Secretary of State must make a deportation order in respect of a non- British criminal where:

  • the criminal was convicted in the UK and sentenced to a period of imprisonment, and the period of imprisonment is 12 months or more, and
  • the sentence is a single sentence for a single conviction, it must not be an aggregate sentence or consecutive sentences, and
  • the criminal was serving that sentence on or after 1 August 2008, and
  • the criminal had not been served with a notice of decision to deport before 1 August 2008.

Are there any exceptions to automatic deportation?

Yes, the Border Act provides for the following exceptions to the duty to order automatic deportation:

  • Where an individual raises a claim for Asylum under the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Where the individual was under the age of 18 on the date of conviction.
  • Where the individual is an EEA citizen or the immediate family of an EEA citizen.
  • Where there are mental health problems or the individual is a recognised victim of trafficking.

However, even where an exception applies, the Secretary of State can still pursue a claim for deportation.

In what other circumstances can someone be deported?

The Secretary of State may make a deportation in other circumstances, including where:

    the person’s deportation is conducive to the public good. the court recommends deportation in the case of a person over the age of 17 who has been convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment. the person is the spouse, civil partner or child under 18 of a person ordered to be deported.

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For more information on:

  • What is the process for deportation?
  • Representations
  • Right to appeal
  • How long do deportation orders last?