As part of legislation introduced through the Immigration Act 2014, carriers and port operators in the aviation, maritime and international rail industries were given the power to carry out embarkation checks. Since 8 April 2015 departure data has been collected on all scheduled commercial services departing the UK from air and sea ports and from international rail stations except those services not within the scope of the exit checks programme.
The analysis in the report focuses on individuals who had both valid leave and were identified as having entered the UK after April 2015, when the exit checks programme was introduced.
Brandon Lewis, Immigration Minister, said:
The Home Office introduced exit checks in 2015 to provide more comprehensive information on travel movements across the UK border.
This information has already been invaluable to the police and security services who have used it to help track known criminals and terrorists, supporting wider work taking place across government and law enforcement.
The report found that among the 1.34 million visas granted to non-EEA nationals which expired in 2016/17, 96.3 per cent departed in time.
Brandon Lewis said:
Today’s report also gives us a more comprehensive picture of the compliance of visa holders, clearly showing that the vast majority of people are following immigration rules and that the action we’re taking to clamp down on illegal immigration is working.
Exit checks is a long-term programme and the data collected will continue to be assessed and analysed to ensure that they become more robust and extensive over time.
Read the second publication into exit checks.