Written statement to Parliament

Immigration Act commencement and statement of changes in Immigration Rules

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons by James Brokenshire MP and in the House of Lords by Lord Bates of Langbaurgh.

The Minister of State for Immigration and Security (James Brokenshire):

The reforms to the immigration appeals system in the Immigration Act 2014 are being phased in from 20 October. These provisions contain important measures to make it easier to deport foreign criminals and build upon the significant reforms we have already made.

In July we introduced new powers to stop criminals using family life arguments to delay their deportation. This has been successful, enabling the Home Office to deport over 100 criminals since July pending any appeal.

From Monday criminals will also no longer be able to appeal against a decision that their deportation is conducive to the public good. This is the most significant change to deportation appeals since 1971. Criminals will be deported and will not be able to appeal beforehand unless they face a real risk of serious irreversible harm. For those that do have an appeal right, they will only be able to appeal once.

From Monday the new Act will also reform the appeals system for students. For those with meritorious appeals the old system was a costly and time-consuming way to correct simple case work errors which could be resolved by a request to the Home Office to review the decision. New immigration rules provide a system of administrative review through which case work errors will be corrected within 28 days rather than 12 weeks, supporting our policy of attracting immigrants who benefit the United Kingdom’s businesses and universities. For non-compliant students the new appeals reforms, combined with the new single power of removal, will make removal quicker and more legally straightforward.

On 3 September I announced that the West Midlands would be the location for the first phase of the implementation of new restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented housing. I have now made the order to bring into force the necessary powers in the Immigration Act to allow the scheme to start from 1 December. This will allow further secondary legislation to be laid before Parliament shortly.

Further measures in the new Act are also being brought into force to limit the ability of immigration detainees to make repeat bail applications and to extend the powers of the Immigration Services Commissioner to combat rogue immigration advisers. Finally, powers are being brought into force to enable us in due course to lay before Parliament the secondary legislation needed to implement the NHS health surcharge and to implement the changes to the process for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership to combat sham marriages and civil partnerships.

Reforms are also being made to strengthen the regime and further enhance security. Technical changes are being implemented across the Immigration Rules to tackle abuse while enhancing the United Kingdom’s status as an excellent place to do business. In particular, the Tier 1 (Investor) route is being reformed following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee. The minimum investment threshold will be raised from £1m to £2m. The government will also consult further on what sort of investment the route should encourage in order to deliver real economic benefits, and other improvements to the route. A consultation document will be published in due course.