The effects of the Immigration Act of 2014 are starting to take effect. I will try to write about the effects of this Act in a simple way to demystify some of the myths that are going around the migrant communities and to clarify some of the reforms.
The Immigration Bill was made into an Act in May 2014 making way for a series of reforms which would ensure that the immigration system is fairer to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tougher on those with no right to be here.
The Immigration Act 2014 contains 77 clauses and made fundamental changes to how the immigration system functions.
It will limit the factors which draw illegal migrants to the UK, make it easier to remove those with no right to be here and ensure the Courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in immigration cases.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
The Immigration Act is a landmark piece of legislation which will build on our existing reforms to ensure that our immigration system works in the national interest.
We are already planning its implementation and will ensure these measures are introduced quickly and effectively.
The Immigration Act will significantly enhance the way Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas & Immigration undertake their work to secure the border, enforce the immigration rules and continue to attract the brightest and the best.
Highlights of the Immigration Act
• Cutting the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4, while allowing the Home Office to return certain harmful individuals before their appeals are heard if there is no risk of serious irreversible harm
• Ensuring that the courts have regard to Parliament’s view of what the public interest requires when considering European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8 claims in immigration cases – making clear the right to a family life is not to be regarded as absolute and unqualified
• Clamping down on people who try to gain an immigration advantage by entering into a sham marriage or civil partnership
• Requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, preventing those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing
• Introducing a new requirement from temporary migrants with time-limited immigration status by requiring them to make a financial contribution to the National Health Service
In the next article I will discuss the issue relating to rights of appeal and I will give examples of how the new appeal rights are working in practise.