Specialist Advice and Representation in Deportation Proceedings
Are you or your client facing deportation proceedings as a result of a criminal conviction? At what we completely understand is a worrying time for everyone involved, our non-judgemental, specialist barristers are here to listen to your individual story, using their wealth of experience to guide you on the choice of legal options open to you.
Every situation is different, and we often find that there are compelling reasons why individuals should be allowed to remain in the UK. What’s more, the UK judicial system allows appeals against deportation to be heard and considered in a thorough and fair manner.
Contrary to popular belief, ‘deportation’ is not just the process of removing someone from the UK just because they don’t have the correct visa.
More often, deportation relates to situations where foreign nationals, who may or may not have had leave to remain in the UK, have been convicted of a crime and sent to prison as a result.
If that crime is considered by the Secretary of State for the Home Department as adequately serious to pose a danger to the public, or if it is felt that removing the person from British society is within the interests of the public, then under the Immigration Act 1971, deportation proceedings will usually be commenced. Automatic deportation will usually be triggered if the prison sentence is 12 months or more.
Deportation requires that the convicted individual leaves the UK, and sanctions their detention until they leave. There is also the chance of a 10-year ban from entering the UK following the removal.
Whilst on the face of it, it would appear that the government is working in the best interests of the public by deporting certain individuals, it is important to consider that there is often another side to the story. At Imperium Chambers, we find that many of the clients who come to us facing deportation proceedings will have long term ties with the UK. Many have British partners and children, and have lived here for much of their lives.
These competing interests are precisely what our expert team of barristers present to the Tribunal judge during deportation hearings, allowing the judge the insight to make a balanced decision.
Exceptions to deportation, and challenging proceedings
British citizens, citizens of the Commonwealth who were ordinarily resident in the UK on 1 January 1973 or have a right of abode, and those who have lived continuously in the UK for five years or more prior to the offence, are exempt from deportation from the UK. Evidence is required if you wish to rely on any of these exclusions.
There are various grounds on which deportation proceedings can be challenged if the above exceptions do not apply. For example, if returning to your birth country would put you at risk of harm; if you have strong ties with the UK and are socially and culturally integrated; if your deportation would separate you from your family with which you have a genuine and continuing relationship and it would unduly harm them if you were to leave, or if you were under the age of 18 years at the time of your conviction.
In such cases, it may be possible to appeal the decision or make a human rights based claim. If neither of these is possible, then the case could potentially be taken to a judicial review and an injunction sought to stop the deportation order.
If the custodial sentence awarded was more than four years, then the standard exclusions will not apply, and a very compelling case against deportation will need to be put forward.
How Imperium Chambers can help
If you or your client is facing deportation proceedings, the importance of seeking specialist representation from immigration experts cannot be over-emphasised. Your chances of having a deportation order overturned will rest heavily on the robustness of your case, and the quality of the evidence provided.
The specialist barristers at Imperium Chambers have successfully defended numerous deportees over the years, and are ready to stand beside you as you fight for your right to remain in the UK.