Immigration Bill becomes law
12 May 2014
Yesterday, the Immigration Bill received Royal Assent, which is the final stage in a bill becoming an Act of Parliament (law). The Immigration Act 2014 makes fundamental changes to the UK’s immigration system.
The new Immigration Act is intended to make way for "a series of reforms which will ensure our immigration system is fairer to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tougher on those with no right to be here".
The Act contains 77 different clauses, but the most significant changes are as follows:
· A reduction in the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to four
· "Certain harmful individuals" can now be removed before their appeals are heard if there is no risk of serious irreversible harm in their removal
· Measures to ensure courts consider the UK Parliament’s view of what is in the public interest when considering the European Convention on Human Rights in immigration cases
· Stronger powers to act against "sham marriages / civil partnerships"
· Landlords will be required to check the immigration status of tenants
· Temporary migrants in the UK on time-limited visas will be required to make a financial contribution to the NHS (this "health surcharge" will be a precondition of entry, charged at the same time as visa application fees)
· Naturalised British citizens can have their citizenship removed if they have acted in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the interests of the UK (e.g. acts of terrorism); however, the Home Secretary must believe the person is able to become a national of another country to implement this process
The implementation of this Act is currently being planned, and the measures are expected to be introduced "quickly and effectively".