The 2014 Immigration Act received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and is now law. The Act covers the whole of the UK.

The Act aims to make the UK the ‘least attractive destination for illegal immigrants by;

* simplifying rules on the removal of illegal immigrants

* extending powers of the immigration authorities to check fingerprints, search for passports and verify the status of people leaving the country or those seeking to marry or enter into civil partnerships

* reducing the grounds on which a person can appeal against an immigration decision

* discouraging the use of Section 8 of the European Court of Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life, as an argument in immigration cases.

* requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants and refuse accommodation to anyone living in the UK illegally

* preventing banks from opening current accounts for those living in UK illegally

* introducing immigration checks for those applying for driving licenses, with the power to revoke the licenses of overstayers

* introducing charges for NHS services for temporary migrants

* giving new powers to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to regulate the advice sector to protect migrants from exploitation and limit spurious claims

* making it easier for the Government to introduce charges for immigration services.

This briefing will be of particular interest to politicians and staff providing information and advice to migrants, those who commission advice on immigration from the voluntary sector and those providing registrar’s services.

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