Immigration detention bail

Apply for bail

You can apply for bail in 2 main ways. It depends on your situation. Apply to:

  • the Home Secretary (‘Secretary of State bail’) any time after you arrive in the UK
  • the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) - only if you arrived more than 8 days ago

You might be automatically referred for a bail hearing if you’ve been in detention for 4 months or more.

If you are appealing to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission you can apply to them for bail.

A solicitor or legal adviser can help you with a bail application.

Read the guide on representing yourself if you’re not going to have a legal representative.

Apply for Secretary of State bail

You can apply to the Home Secretary for bail from the first day you arrive in the UK. This is called ’Secretary of State Bail’.

Download and fill in form BAIL401 explaining why you’re asking for bail.

You can also get the form from:

  • the welfare officer, if you’re in an Immigration Removal Centre 
  • your detention paperwork pack, if you’re in a prison

Your application will be decided by Home Office staff and there will not be a hearing.

Apply for bail from the First-tier Tribunal

You can apply to the independent ‘First-tier Tribunal’ for bail if you arrived in the UK more than 8 days ago. Your application for bail will be decided by an independent judge at a hearing.

Download and fill in form B1.

If you can’t download the form yourself, you can:

If you have a tribunal appeal hearing scheduled, send the form to the tribunal or hearing centre where it’s happening. You can find the address of the venue using the A to Z list.

If you don’t have an appeal hearing, ask staff at the place you’re held – they can fax your application to the right venue.

Automatic referral for bail

The Home Office will automatically refer you to the First-tier Tribunal for a bail hearing if all of the following are true:

  • you’ve been in detention for 4 months or more
  • you aren’t being detained in the interests of national security
  • there’s no action being taken to deport you from the UK
  • you haven’t applied for bail to the First-tier Tribunal in the last 4 months

They will make an application on your behalf using all the information they have.

You can refuse the referral, or choose to make your own bail application. The Home Office will apply on your behalf every 4 months unless you apply for bail yourself.

What happens at the First-tier Tribunal hearing 

There will usually be a hearing to decide if you should be granted bail. This will happen a few days after your application is received – you’ll receive a ‘notice of hearing’ to tell you when it is.

You probably won’t be in the room for the hearing. It’s more likely to happen over a video-link instead.

The Home Office will send the tribunal a document listing the reasons they think you should not get bail (a ‘Bail Summary’). They will also send you a copy.