If you have been detained by the Immigration authorities or know someone who has been detained then you need to seek specialist immigration legal advice. Freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment is a fundamental human right, legally enforceable throughout the UK by virtue of the Human Rights Act 1998. An Immigration Bail is a request or an application either to the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) or to the Immigration Judge for release of a person from immigration detention.
If an immigrant is detained we give consideration as to how the person detained can be released. In the first place verbal communications with the immigration service may yield some results. Then representations are made to the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) that the person detained be released on Temporary Admission (TA).
The Immigration Service reviews the detention on a regular basis so it is important that all relevant information is put before them: e.g. any change in the detainee's health, distress to family, or more favourable conditions should release be considered (e.g. a new address becoming available).
If the detainee is released they will usually be required to comply with conditions. The usual conditions are:
- Residence at a specified address.
- Reporting to Police Station or /Immigration Service.
- Sureties. These conditions can be varied by an application to an Immigration Officer or Immigration Judge.
In cases of new arrival, once seven days have passed from arrival in the United Kingdom, there is a possibility of applying for bail in all kinds of immigration case. Such an application may be made to a Chief Immigration Officer, or to an Immigration Judge at Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Therefore if the Immigration Service refuses to grant the detainee temporary admission or bail, they have a right to apply for bail to an Immigration Judge at Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
The Immigration Judge may release the detainee on bail subject to conditions similar to those an Immigration Officer may impose. This will include reappearing before the Immigration Judge at a later hearing usually the full appeal hearing.
Remember at the bail hearing that the burden of proof in justifying detention lies, given the presumption in favour of bail, on the Secretary of State to the balance of probabilities. The adjudicator should give a reasoned decision, albeit that it is not in writing.
Sureties are put forward as potential guarantors that a person will answer their bail.
The standard Bail Form has spaces for two sureties, though there is no requirement that there are a pair: you could offer more, or none. It will be necessary to supply the Immigration Judge and Immigration Service/Home Office with their details so that the individuals in question, and their addresses, can be the subject of investigation via the national police computer. Two days notice should be given to the Secretary of State for this purpose.
Those with criminal convictions or insecure immigration status, or whose addresses have in the past been associated with absconding, are unlikely to be accepted as sureties.
The sureties should always attend court – it will rarely be the case that non attendance will be accepted. The surety should have proof of ID, address, occupation, financial status, immigration status (ideally British citizenship/Indefinite leave to remain) and evidence of the address that is available to the detainee.Immigration Judges prefer a surety who is living with or near bail applicant to ensure that the sureties are able to exercise a measure of control over them. The surety should explain their relationship to the detainee, and what level of contact they have had with them in the past, and intend to maintain in the future.
If the bail applicant absconds or does not comply with conditions of bail, the sureties risk forfeiting all or part of their recognisance. Large sums are often required by Immigration Judges (or CIOs) £5000 is not uncommon. The Immigration Judge will need to be satisfied that the sureties are suitable and will ensure that the bail applicant will answer the bail by complying conditions of the bail.
This is a difficult question to answer, but some general guidance is possible:
- Where a person’s removal from the UK is not imminent, it is difficult to justify ongoing immigration detention and a bail application may well succeed
- Where removals to a certain country are not possible for practical or other reasons, detention would normally be unlawful and a bail application should succeed
- Where a person is a survivor of torture, they should not be detained
- Unaccompanied minors should never be detained other than for a very short period in their own best interests
- Families should not generally be detained other than for short periods before removal
The immigration solicitors at Knightsbridge Solicitors are experts in dealing with bail applications. The quality of our service is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the service provided by our immigration lawyers. You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from immigration lawyers in London and Nottingham in relation to your application for release on bail from immigration detention and our immigration solicitors will provide you fast, friendly, reliable and professional immigration service.
If instructed to represent you regarding your immigration bail application, we will do the following immigration casework for you:
- Our immigration solicitors will take Detailed Instructions from you and advise you about the relevant immigration law and procedure to be adopted by the Immigration Authorities in your immigration case;
- Our immigration solicitors will visit the detainee, if necessary, and also attend upon those who are willing to stand as sureties for bail purposes;
- Our immigration solicitors will discuss your immigration case in detail with you and advise you about the weaknesses and strengths of your immigration case;
- Our immigration solicitors will advise you about the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of your application;
- Our immigration solicitors will consider contents of the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the application and discuss the same with you;
- Our immigration solicitors will complete the relevant immigration form and discuss the same with you;
- Our immigration solicitors will prepare a covering letter to introduce and support the application;
- Our immigration solicitors will liaise with the Immigration Officer/Immigration Judge for expeditious decision on the application;
- Our immigration solicitors will represent you before the Immigration Judge at Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in your hearing of bail application.