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An immigration experts guide to detention in the UK

Some people who have completed their criminal sentence, or have overstayed in the UK can be detained.  There is no limit to that period of detention, however, the longer someone is detained, the more likely they are to be released on bail. 

The two types of bail

If you have been detained, then the first thing you will probably have thought of is bail.  There are two types of bail, Home Office bail and Tribunal bail.  Home Office bail is where you apply to the Home Office for release and that is granted (or refused) by the Home Office.  Tribunal bail is heard by an independent tribunal judge.  

Do you have an outstanding application?

The first thing to consider when applying for bail, is what is your current position in terms of removal?  Whilst it is likely that it is bail that is at the forefront of your mind and that getting out of detention is important, it may that you need to first apply for leave to remain in the UK.  For example, say you made your last application in whatever capacity, i.e. asylum, because you have family in the UK, or on another basis, and that application was refused.  You have been in the process of gathering the evidence for a new application but have not yet made it.  You went to report and were detained at the reporting centre.  The Home Office hold your passport from your previous application.  Whilst it might be that bail is your number one focus, it should in fact be to finalise your new application and submit it.  In the current position, whilst you are applying for bail, the Home Office are likely to be booking your flight in light of the fact there is no outstanding legal barriers to your removal.  Even if you are able to submit your bail application and have a hearing for your application prior to the Home Office booking a flight for you, you may find it difficult to obtain bail where your removal is imminent.  Your removal is likely to be imminent where you have no outstanding applications. 

It is worth noting that making an application for leave to remain from detention is usually free, there is no Home Office application fee and no Immigration Health Surcharge (although, if you are later granted leave to remain, you may be asked to pay this prior to the grant being effected).

Can I request another tribunal?

Whether you apply for Home Office bail or Tribunal bail is an important consideration.   In cases where you have a strong case for bail, for example if you have a caring role for a child or an elderly relative who is affected by your detention, you have people willing to put up money to secure your release and accommodation to stay in, then Home Office bail can be quicker than Tribunal bail.  There is however, nothing to stop you applying for both types of bail simultaneously. If your Home Office bail is unsuccessful, you can then argue your case in front of a Judge. 

Most detention centres, or prisons, have a designated Tribunal that will hear all cases of bail relating to that place of detention.  If you are concerned that it may be difficult for family members, or people supporting you to travel to that centre, you may be able to ask for your case to be relocated to another Tribunal.  This will depend to some extent on the ability of the preferred Tribunal to hear detained cases. 

Contact us for urgent support

Please contact our specialist bail team who can help you out of detention in the least amount of time. 

Call us at: 020 7118 4546
Email us at: info@westkin.com

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