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UK Policies on Illegal Immigrants

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 1 Apr 2019 | comments*Discuss
Immigration Illegal Uk Border Police

Previously, the UK’s coalition government consists of politicians from two different parties who had some divergent policies on illegal immigration. During the campaigning period leading up to the May 2010 General Election, immigration remained a contentious topic. Each of the three main political parties were repeatedly forced to address this issue, at a time when the UK was facing serious challenges such as recovery from a global recession and the ongoing active participation of British troops in foreign disputes.

In part the subject of immigration was forced onto the front pages by the policies of some small, far-right political parties who appeared to be gaining support from “ordinary voters” because of their purportedly pro-British, and therefore anti-immigration, stance. Arguably, the main parties gave greater prominence to the immigration issue in their campaigns in an attempt to avoid losing votes. In a messy election, in which no one party emerged as the clear winner, one thing was clear – these divisive, minority parties got nowhere in the vote.

Critics of the UK’s previous government had repeatedly accused them of failings in the way they dealt with illegal immigrants. Not only was it deemed too easy for illegal immigrants to get into the UK but it seemed as if very little was done to get them out of the country once they were found to be here illegally.

Conservative Pre-Election Policies on Illegal Immigration

The campaign literature put out by the Conservative Party in the run-up to the election made clear that this was a party which would be tough on illegal immigration. The UK’s borders were said to be too easy to penetrate. The Conservatives promised to “crack down” on the problem and to set up a Border Police Force to target illegal immigration and trafficking offences. By also proposing tougher rules on legitimate immigration, the Conservatives were sending out a clear message. Voters who cared about violations of the UK’s borders and unchecked immigration did not have to vote for an extremist party to have their concerns addressed.

Liberal Democrat Pre-Election Policies on Illegal Immigration

The Liberal Democrat’s pre-election manifesto blamed previous Conservative and Labour governments for the immigration-related problems faced by the UK today. In particular, they identified the abolition of exit checks on people leaving the UK as contributing to the difficulty in monitoring the number of illegal immigrants in the country. Whilst emphasising the desire for a fair and liberal immigration system, the Liberal Democrats stated that immigration laws had to be properly enforced for this to be possible. They proposed the re-introduction of entry and exit checks on those moving across the UK’s borders and the introduction of a National Border Force to police immigration laws.

Uniquely amongst the main political parties, the Liberal Democrats had advocated a partial amnesty on illegal immigrants already in the UK. They wanted a system which allowed some illegal immigrants already in the country to become legal, to pay taxes and even to become British citizens.

UK Government’s Policies on Illegal Immigration

When the UK coalition government finally announced its immigration policies in May 2010 it appeared that the Liberal Democrat’s proposed amnesty on illegal immigrants had been completely dropped from the government’s programme. This is, perhaps, unsurprising since the policy was completely at odds with the Conservative Party’s manifesto. Although the Conservatives are now in government, policies for the moment will remain the same.

The introduction of a new Border Police Force to target illegal immigration - as well as the trafficking of people, drugs and weapons - has been confirmed as a policy of the government. The government also intends to enhance current systems for the collaboration between local police forces in relation to illegal immigration and border offences. The re-introduction of exit checks has also been confirmed. More generalised policies to make the immigration system less open to abuse and to make the asylum system more efficient can also be seen as being aimed at the problem of illegal immigration in the UK.

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Hello Sir, i am living in this country since 2010. M got illegal. In 2014 i did marry with eu citizen, its finidhed in 2015. Before i was student. After all i put asylum, it rejected. Now tell me if in this april something better law coming for me. Wht application i put. Kindly help me
Zara - 1-Apr-19 @ 6:43 PM
@Mindu - You will have to live in the UK illegally for at least 20 years before you can apply for Right to remain visa
TJ. - 19-Mar-19 @ 9:08 AM
Hi I live in Uk last 16 year 4 month my all family in Uk satell Can have a chans to get visa if I apply thanks
Mindu - 17-Mar-19 @ 5:23 PM
@person - Illegal immigrants and over-stayers can only apply for ILR after living illegally in the UK continuously for at least 20 years.
TJ. - 4-Feb-19 @ 2:38 PM
hi if any person live in uk withou visa last 10 year then they can be able to apply ILR in uk. if you have any suggestion like you have any other condition to get the pr ro any other person then tell us thx thx
person - 1-Feb-19 @ 12:50 PM
Hi I have been in UK since 2002 17 years home office refuse my asylum I jus got married I got papers for 5 yreas a year ago But it looks like we are going to break up me and wife Can stay in UK or I will lose my visa even though I been here 17 years 16 illegal and 1 year legal Is there any chance I can apply to stay because I been here 17 years
Zee - 5-Jan-19 @ 8:55 PM
Hi!I'm albanian ,my husband is Bulgarian. We have 3 guys and we live in Albania. If we decide to live in UK which are the facilities or any assistance that can we get?Thank you!
Liza - 26-Oct-18 @ 9:30 PM
Please l have lived in uk for 15 years , l am 36years, l have payslips and p60 up to date l have a child who is 3years , l pay my council tax please is there any chance for to get leave to remain ? Thanks
Maafia - 27-Sep-18 @ 8:32 PM
@gracey - You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after being in the UK for 20 years
TJ. - 26-Sep-18 @ 1:20 AM
Hi I am in this country for 15 years. I apply for right of abroad and was refuse. Is there any other ground I can apply for.
gracey - 25-Sep-18 @ 6:29 PM
Hi my ex husband has been illegal in UK for 13 14 years i have 2 kids with him when I was with him suffered from domestic abuse really badly reported to police few times to i left him finally after he held knife to me i ket him see kids but stopped contact when he hit my son he is know trying to see kids through court but I don't think has anything to do with kids he's trying to get stay can he get stay like this or will get deported it isn't fair to use kids for he's own benefit when he doesn't care at all about them
Anni - 7-Sep-18 @ 5:03 PM
I get married to my wife outside of UK, and I have permanent resident card. But my wife after we get married entered to Republic of Irelandalone , and traveled to London by bus without UK visa . Now she is in London and we had applied to family visa here in Uk, but she get refused visa. We are married for 4 years , and living together in flat I am renting. I have income over 23k a year.Please advise us, because I don’t want send my wife back to her country, because we don’t believe that home Office will allowed her to come here again.
Robert - 2-Sep-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi, i arrived in U.K in 1999 illegally, few years ago i got ran over by a taxi and this left me with bad head injury, due to this accident i am suffering from mental health, depression and memories lost and also constant migraine, now i am at detention camp facing depotation, i did not want to go back because i have no family or close ties back in Africa and also i can not remember a lot about my past due to the head injury, please i need advise as soon as possible, thank you
Tony - 22-Aug-18 @ 11:27 AM
@Mohamed - You will be able to apply for settlement once you have lived in the UK for at least 20 years
TJ. - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:52 PM
Hi I been here from 2001 is 17 years overstayed so there is any chance to get my paper I got Solicator but is lazy he took just the money made for me just apeal by apeal and they refused after fresh application I’m always paying and they sent me to signe in London Bridge for 2 years than I stop to go thereI prove to them all last 17 years paid tax home tax everything but always they refused me i had case with them from 2010 when I was 10 years in the uk now I don’t know what I do
Mohamed - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:12 AM
Hi can I know as I came in UK 2012 on student visa then over stay Is it any way to apply for any visa My record clear Plz response me Thanks
Kaur - 21-Jul-18 @ 6:14 PM
@Jerome - for an EEA family permit to be valid, the non EU family member must live in the UK WITH the EU citizen. Because you left the UK, your non EU stepson is living in the UK illegally and any application that he makes for Permanent Residency will be refused
TJ. - 17-Jun-18 @ 4:07 AM
Good evening. I'm an European National and I came to the UK in 2009 to work in Financial Markets. I brought my non EU wife and double nationality(EU/non-EU) son and non EU stepson (01-07-1994) who where legally granted an EEA family permit by the Home Office. Dec 2012 I had to move back to the EU. For a couple of reasons I was not able to bring my stepson as he was into education and started to have his social life in the UK. So by the end of 2012 (his age then 18,5) I left him in the UK and since he's fully integrated, speaks and understand fluent English and has build up his life over there. Now its 2018 and he and I still don't know his rights and what he can do to get legal ILR. So this August he stays in the UK for 9 years. He has a bank account and NI number as well.... Please advise what he should do.
Jerome - 16-Jun-18 @ 7:47 PM
I was a student then overstayed my visa. Then I filed an application in homeoffice under article 8 case which went on fighting in court for 8 years. I eventually got my stay to remain in UK after 8 years pending case. Were those past 8 years counted 'valid'? Can I apply for ILR after 2 years, considering those past 8 years as 'legal' stay? Does that make up a valid 10 year stay to apply for ILR?
Azee - 16-Jun-18 @ 3:40 PM
Hi come in 2002 I’m claim for asylumthan 2010 legacy case apply. No ans any thing I’m wait too long !
Nicku - 14-Jun-18 @ 12:36 PM
Hi my name is Sunny I came here in 2007 as I didn’t got any decision , what should I do
Sunny - 31-May-18 @ 11:27 PM
@Zaby - I think it is immediate deportation.
BNJ - 31-May-18 @ 3:17 PM
anne - Your Question:
Hi, iam mother of two kids,we are innocent,and be illegal By husband he want to stay here.but already 6 years we are here my kids adopted to country they do know any language except English. I don't what to do.please suggesting me.thank u

Our Response:
The current policy for illegal immigrants is automatic deportation. You can get immigration advice if you need help with getting permission to stay in the UK, please see link here. However, any advice will cost.
AboutImmigration - 31-May-18 @ 12:17 PM
hello everyone. i would like to ask some question guys. if illegal immirgrant caught by police working illegal on expire visit visa of 4 years what punishment will be given? they will deport him after spending six months jail ?
Zaby - 31-May-18 @ 12:02 AM
Hi, iam mother of two kids,we are innocent,and be illegal By husband he want tostay here.but already 6 years we are here my kids adopted to country they do know any language except English. I don't what to do.please suggesting me.thank u
anne - 30-May-18 @ 3:40 PM
Harry - Your Question:
I was an overstayer in uk by the year of 2016. So I caught by home office and meant leave the country as soon as possible. So after 1 year time, 2016 April, I booked my own ticket and went back home. Still my passport is ok. There is no banned seal or any thing. If some one sponcer me for a job, is it possible me to go there again as I dont know about my banned time

Our Response:
It is likely you will face a five year re-entry ban.
AboutImmigration - 24-May-18 @ 12:47 PM
Hi, I came to UK in Jan 2017 as a student. and had further2 extension on Study Visa. I qualified as an accountant. In 2013 my visa extension got rejected due to missing English language certificate and then appeals were rejected too as judge said my studies were almost finished. Since then i have made further representations and applied for JR. HO asked me to withdraw Judicial Review (JR) so that they will reconsider my case. I withdrew from JR but HO refused to grant leave again. This happened in 2016. Since then i have not made any application. Recently i got married (islamic marriage as its not registered yet) 2 months ago and partner has just become pregnant. We are living at the same address. My partner is a part time dental nurse. Please advise what should i do? can i legalise my stay within UK or do i have to go back and apply for spouse visa? Thanks
Hass - 23-May-18 @ 3:30 PM
I was an overstayer in uk by the year of 2016. So I caught by home office and meant leave the country as soon as possible. So after 1 year time, 2016 April, i booked my own ticket and went back home. Still my passport is ok. There is no banned seal or any thing. If some one sponcer me for a job, is it possible me to go there again as i dont know about my banned time
Harry - 22-May-18 @ 4:00 PM
Life - Your Question:
If me and my spouse living in uk become separate, how long do I have before I will be deported.

Our Response:
We cannot tell you this information, it would be up to the Home Office to decide.
AboutImmigration - 18-May-18 @ 3:42 PM
If me and my spouse living in uk become separate, how long do I have before I will be deported.
Life - 16-May-18 @ 10:38 PM
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