Detention
Produced in partnership with Samina Iqbal of 1 Pump Court and Ben Amunwa of 36 Civil
Detention

The following Immigration guidance note Produced in partnership with Samina Iqbal of 1 Pump Court and Ben Amunwa of 36 Civil provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Detention
  • Overview of the Home Office's policy on detention
  • Who is liable to detention for immigration reasons?
  • Persons unsuitable for detention
  • Where may a person be detained for immigration reasons?

This Practice Note examines the powers of the Home Office to detain individuals when exercising immigration control. It includes an overview of the Home Office’s policy on detention as well as a discussion of who is liable for detention and who is considered unsuitable for detention. It also identifies the places in which a person may be detained for immigration reasons. The Practice Note is primarily intended to provide a summary of the key principles involved, as a detailed treatment of this topic is currently outside the scope of Lexis®PSL Immigration.

Overview of the Home Office's policy on detention

The Home Office, including Border Force, has the power to detain individuals when exercising immigration control. However, each time the power to detain arises, the Home Office also has the power not to detain and to allow the individual to be in the UK on a temporary basis on immigration bail.

Detailed guidelines on how the power to detain is to be exercised provide that:

  1. there is a presumption in favour of release

  2. special consideration must be given to families and unaccompanied children

  3. there must be strong grounds for believing that a person will not comply with conditions of release for detention to be justified

  4. all reasonable alternatives to detention must be considered before detention is authorised

  5. each case must be considered