Here at J M Wilson Solicitors, we specialise in deportation cases. Having brought a successful challenge to the Home Office’s policy on the deport first and appeal later policy. This meant the Home Office could deport someone and that person could only appeal once they left the UK. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40272323. The Supreme Court ruled this was unlawful, and our client was successful. As a result of our case the Home Office had no choice but to back down and give in-country appeal rights to those with deportation decisions. This puts us above our competitors and gives us a specialist in-depth knowledge in dealing with deportation cases and giving you the best chance of remaining in the UK.
If you or a family member has been threatened with deportation by the Home Office, then it is important they obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Deportation has massive consequences and can be extremely scary. It has the means to rip you out of a country that you may have made your home and a family you may be part of and rely on you. You might have indefinite leave to remain and had this for many years. It only takes one mistake and your entire life can change forever.
It will be seen in the media the Home Office has been promoting a hostile environment for some years now. The Home Office is on a mission to take a tough stance on foreign nationals convicted of criminal offences and given sentences of 12 months or more. There is power for the Home Office to make automatic deportation under section 32(5) of the Borders Act 2007. This only applies where:
- A person is convicted in the UK and sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 12 months or more and
- The person was serving that sentence on or after 1st August 2008 and
- The person has not been served with a notice of a decision to deport before 1st August 2008 and
- None of the exceptions set out in section 33 of the 2007 Act apply.
In section 33 there are 6 exceptions, which can be found here. However, the most common exception that we come across is the first one, namely where removal would breach the Refugee Convention or Human Rights. In the case of Human Rights, the most common Human Right relied on is Article 8 – Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
The Home Office will send out a letter advising you that they intend to make a deportation order. They ask you to inform them within 20 working days any reasons why deportation should not be made taking into account the exceptions above. It cannot be underestimated how important it is that the deadline is not missed. You must ensure full reasons why deportation should not be made are provided with evidence.
Most clients that instruct us in these circumstances have family in the UK. Family can consist of spouses, partners, children and other relatives and it is important to inform the Home Office of this. It is important that the representations are detailed, and evidence is provided. It is advisable to seek legal advice at this stage. Your solicitor will be able to formulate your representations in a way that will bring the best of your facts out. This could avoid the Home Office making a deportation order at all, which will save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long run. It is always easy to submit basic representations in the Home Office will make their own enquiries – THEY DON’T. It is up to you to provide all your reasons and the evidence you wish to rely on. This is we will be able to assist you.
Gathering evidence in such cases is the most important thing. Knowing what evidence to gather is more important. You will need the advice of a specialist to advise you of what you will need to provide. We will then be able to put it forward to the Home Office on your behalf in the strongest possible way.
The Home Office will make a decision upon receipt of the representations you send them. If they decide to make the deportation order, then you will be given a right of appeal. The appeal will need to be lodged within 14 days to the First-Tier Tribunal and a Tribunal fee paid.
If you or a family member are at any of the above stages, then please do get in touch with us. We can help and advice. We operate a free drop-in surgery at our office on Thursdays between 3pm and 6pm and on Saturdays between 11am and 1pm. Click here for details.