November 2015 – Immigration Bill 2015
The Immigration Bill had its second reading in the Commons on 13 October.
The Bill is currently in nine parts. The main provisions are as follows:
Part 1 creates a new offence of illegal working and seeks to strengthen the sanctions to be applied to employers of illegal workers.
Part 2 would build on existing measures to restrict irregular migrants access to residential tenancies, driving and bank accounts. It creates four new offences applicable to landlords and letting agents who let properties to migrants who do not have a valid immigration status, and gives landlords new powers to evict tenants who do not have a right to rent. There are new powers to search for and seize driving licences held by irregular migrants and a new offence of driving a vehicle when unlawfully in the UK. The Bill also introduces obligations on banks to carry out immigration status checks on current account holders.
Part 3 would give new immigration enforcement powers, including to search for, seize and retain evidence of illegal working or illegal renting.
Part 4 would extend changes to appeal rights in order to enable the Home Secretary to remove from the UK migrants who are appealing against a refusal of a human rights claim before the appeal has been determined, if she certifies that the persons temporary removal would not cause serious irreversible harm or breach the UKs human rights obligations.
Part 5 would reform financial and accommodation arrangements for certain categories of migrant. Section 4 support for refused asylum seekers and certain other categories of migrant would be replaced by a new category of support which would be available to destitute refused asylum seekers who face a genuine obstacle to leaving the UK.
Part 6 would introduce new powers to create a civil penalty scheme to ensure port operators and transport carriers compliance with legal obligations to manage the disembarkation of passengers in the UK.
Part 7 would introduce a duty on public authorities to ensure that all public sector workers in public-facing roles are able to speak fluent English.
Part 8 would introduce an immigration skills charge, payable by employers who sponsor non-EEA national workers. The money raised would be spent on addressing skills shortages in the UK.
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