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The Immigration Bill 2013. Don Flynn, Director Migrant Rights Network 27 November 2013. Outline. Context for the bill Key Immigration bill proposals Removal of the right of appeal Landlord checks New health charge Passage of the bill through Parliament. Context for the Bill.

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the immigration bill 2013

The Immigration Bill 2013

Don Flynn, Director

Migrant Rights Network

27 November 2013

  • Context for the bill
  • Key Immigration bill proposals
    • Removal of the right of appeal
    • Landlord checks
    • New health charge
  • Passage of the bill through Parliament
context for the bill
Context for the Bill
  • The Immigration Bill is introduced at an important time for the immigration debate, and in the political calendar.
  • It follows ongoing reforms by the Coalition Government aimed at tightening up the immigration system
    • Government objective is to reduce net migration to the 10s of thousands by 2015
    • Government concerned by accusations that it is not properly ‘managing’ immigration (particularly irregular migration, EU migration, and immigration of low-paid or skilled non-EU migrants).
    • Bill is part of the Government’s pre-2014 and 2015 election strategy – in particular the Conservative party hopes that it will show they are ‘getting a grip’ on immigration.
immigration bill 2013
Immigration Bill 2013

The Immigration Bill will stop migrants abusing public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which draw illegal immigrants to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here”.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper MP, 10 Oct 2013

Bill introduces range of measures to create a ‘hostile environment’ in the UK, including:

  • Landlord and bank immigration checks
  • Restrictions on the right of appeal
  • Changes to healthcare entitlements...
key provisions 1 removal of the right of appeal
Key provisions1. Removal of the right of appeal

The Immigration Bill would significantly reduce appeal rights for all people making immigration applications.

  • In future appeals will only be allowed for human rights and protection applications
  • The majority of economic /family /student /citizenship /removal applications will have no right of appeal


  • Quality of Home Office decision-making is very poor
    • 50% of entry clearance and managed migration applications are currently successful on appeal.
  • This would reduce the accountability of the immigration system for all who use it, reducing access to justice for migrants.
key provisions 2 landlord immigration checks
Key provisions:2. Landlord immigration checks
  • Based on the employer immigration checks which have been in place since 2008
  • All private landlords would be required to check the immigration status of their prospective tenants
  • Or face a fine of up to £3000 per irregular migrant tenant


  • Proposal accused of being costly and unworkable – landlords associations don’t like it either
  • Concerns about race discrimination
  • Pushing irregular migrants further into the arms of criminal landlords
key provisions 3 new health charge for temporary migrants
Key provisions3. New health charge for temporary migrants
  • Will apply to ‘temporary migrants’ - work, family, students
  • At least £200 p.a. = £1000 per person moving to ILR


  • Some groups will find it hard to pay the health charge
    • Unclear which groups will be exempt
  • Migrants already make a contribution to the NHS
  • Migrants use the NHS less frequently than UK-born
  • Potential deterrent effect of the charge
primary care charging
Primary care charging
  • Government sought to restrict free primary care access to visitors, tourists and irregular migrants, including refused asylum seekers.
  • Vocal opposition from BMA, Royal College of GPs etc
  • This has NOT been included in the bill.

Has this gone away?

  • NO – we are awaiting an announcement from the Department of Health on this in the coming weeks
the bill in parliament
The Bill in Parliament
  • Moving through Parliament at high speed
  • Completed House of Commons Committee stage on 19th November
  • Due to move to the House of Lords in Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  • Likely to become law by April 2014
  • New provisions in place from spring 2014

Thank you

Don Flynn