Immigration offences
Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings
Immigration offences

The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Immigration offences
  • Sources of law relevant to immigration offences
  • Conditional cautions—important note
  • Illegal entry
  • Using deception to enter or remain
  • Facilitating unlawful immigration
  • Assisting an asylum seeker to enter the UK
  • Assisting entry to the UK in breach of a deportation or exclusion order
  • Trafficking offences
  • Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
  • More...

Immigration offences are matters that are dealt with under the criminal law. They are distinct from civil penalties which, in the context of immigration, are monetary penalties levied by the Home Office when enforcing laws or regulations.

This Practice Note covers some of the main categories of immigration offence.

For information on offences relating to illegal working, see Practice Note: Illegal workers—civil and criminal sanctions.

Sources of law relevant to immigration offences

There are many immigration-related offences on the statute books. Most of them are contained in the main immigration acts, including the following:

  1. Immigration Act 1971 (IA 1971)

  2. Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 (AIA 1996)

  3. Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (IAA 1999)

  4. Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (NIAA 2002)

  5. Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 (AI(TCE)A 2004)

  6. Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (IANA 2006)

  7. UK Borders Act 2007 (UKBA 2007)

  8. Immigration Act 2014 (IA 2014), and

  9. Immigration Act 2016 (IA 2016)

Some immigration-related offences are included in other acts, including:

  1. Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 (FCA 1981)

  2. Fraud Act 2006 (FrA 2006)

  3. Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (BCIA 2009)

  4. Identity Documents Act 2010 (IDA 2010), and

  5. Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015)

The Home Office has produced a summary of the main immigration-related offences, including the mode of trial and maximum penalty for each offence.

In addition, provisions contained within the following acts enable

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