Guidance

Powers and operational procedure: caseworker guidance

Immigration staff guidance on administrative and criminal powers for officers dealing with immigration enforcement matters within the UK.

Documents

Arrest and restraint

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Critical incident management

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Enforcement interviews

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Enforcement planning assessments

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Enforcement visits

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Enforcement visits: safety and personal protection

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Identifying people at risk

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Illegal working operations

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Immigration Enforcement powers

Irregular or unlawful entry and arrival

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Marriage investigations

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Method of entry

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Partnership working

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Post enforcement visit actions

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Preventing illegal working in licenced premises

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Record keeping during enforcement visits

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Right to rent: landlords’ penalties

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Search and seizure

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Use of force

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Verbal abuse, obstruction and assault – Immigration Enforcement

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Warrants: procurement and use

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Details

UK Visas and Immigration guidance on when and how staff may make an arrest using administrative immigration or criminal powers.

This is part of Immigration Enforcement General Instructions.

Guidance in this section has been reworked into a new format and plainer language. Not all of the enforcement guidance has been revised yet. If you cannot find the information you need in this section, please look in the ‘chapters’ sections of Enforcement instructions and guidance.

We are aware these publications may have accessibility issues. We are reviewing them so that we can fix these.

Read more about our accessible documents policy.

Published 24 March 2016
Last updated 15 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated version of the Record keeping during enforcement visits guidance. All references to the paper pocket notebook (PNB) have been removed from the main body and placed into a contingency section at the end of the guidance. References to obsolete systems have also been removed.

  2. Replaced Enforcement planning assessments guidance to give extra clarification on the completion of Equalities and Community Impact Assessment (ECIA) in line with the ECIA v2.0 template and to update the link to the generic Home Office EIA guidance and template page.

  3. Document 'Coercive powers: overview' replaced by new document 'Immigration Enforcement powers'.

  4. 'Dealing with potential criminality (ICE teams)' updated. Full details are in the 'Changes from last version of this guidance' section.

  5. The marriage investigations document has been updated.

  6. Updated enforcement planning assessments guidance to include clarification of reasonable hours in respect of visit timings, PRONTO process update and clarification of which agency completes CIA on joint visits.

  7. Updated Verbal abuse, obstruction and assault - Immigration Enforcement guidance.

  8. Marriage investigations guidance updated.

  9. Dealing with potential criminality (ICE teams) guidance has been updated to include clarification of details on aggravating factors.

  10. Replaced 'Safeguarding and establishing lawful residence' - updated section on British Overseas Territories Citizens to reflect changes introduced by the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.

  11. Added accessible version of Marriage investigations.

  12. Minor revision to Safeguarding - establishing lawful residence concerning scope and intent of guidance in relation to use by non-Immigration Enforcement staff, additional detailed examples of evidence that might be sought/considered and updated links.

  13. New forms added in version 2.0 of Preventing illegal working in licenced premises.

  14. Guidance entitled 'Clandestine illegal entrants ' replaced with revised and updated version entitled 'Irregular or unlawful entry and arrival'.

  15. Added guidance for Immigration Compliance and Enforcement teams (ICE) on 'Dealing with potential criminality'.

  16. Added guidance on use of force.

  17. Added new document on 'Preventing illegal working in licenced premises'.

  18. Guidance on partnership working updated.

  19. Marriage investigations guidance updated with advice to reflect the end of the grace period, amendment to the advice on frontier workers, advice on change of circumstances and update of removal pathways.

  20. Guidance on obstruction added.

  21. Updated 'Arrest and restraint' guidance. For a full list of changes, read the 'Changes from last version of this guidance' section within.

  22. Guidance on critical incident management updated. Changes are detailed on page 5 of the document.

  23. Updated version of 'Marriage investigations' pdf file.

  24. Updated guidance on marriage investigations and enforcement interviews/visits in line with EU exit changes.

  25. Updated Right to rent: landlords’ penalties document.

  26. Record keeping during enforcement visits updated.

  27. Updated the Enforcement Planning Assessments document.

  28. Updated to add Method of entry guidance

  29. Guidance on identifying people at risk updated: minor housekeeping – broken links fixed; changes reflect a change to contact details and a slight change to the paragraph regarding the NRM process.

  30. Guidance on marriage investigations updated.

  31. Added a new document 'Safeguarding and establishing lawful residence'.

  32. Updated guidance on enforcement planning assessments, post visit actions, and record keeping published.

  33. Updated critical incident management guidance.

  34. Replaced right to rent guidance with a new version.

  35. Updated guidance on partnership working.

  36. New guidance on clandestine illegal entrants and enforcement visits: safety and personal protection.

  37. Updated guidance on 'Critical incident management'.

  38. Updated guidance on partnership working.

  39. New guidance added on 'Record keeping during enforcement visits'.

  40. Guidance added on 'Critical incident management'.

  41. Updated guidance on marriage investigations.

  42. Updated guidance on 'Enforcement visits'.

  43. 'Search and seizure' guidance updated.

  44. Guidance added on 'Operational planning and briefing'.

  45. Guidance added on 'Warrants: procurement and use'.

  46. Updated 'right to rent landlords' guidance.

  47. Guidance added on 'Partnership working'.

  48. Guidance added on 'Operational enforcement visits'.

  49. Guidance added on 'Post enforcement visit actions'.

  50. 'Marriage investigations' guidance added.

  51. Guidance added on 'Arrest and restraint', 'Enforcement interviews', 'Identifying people at risk', 'Illegal working operations' and updated guidance on 'Search and seizure'.

  52. New search and seizure guidance.

  53. Updated 'Right to rent scheme: landlords' guidance.

  54. Guidance on 'Right to rent scheme: landlords' added.

  55. Updated guidance.

  56. First published.