The government has announced that the new Immigration Bill will contain even tougher measures to crack down on people illegally entering the UK – including a new offence of driving while unlawfully in Britain.
Those caught driving in the UK who have entered the country illegally could face jail, as well a shaving their vehicle confiscated if convicted.
The law will apply to England and Wales and penalties include up to six months in jail and an unlimited fine. Vehicles will be impounded pending prosecution and confiscated once a conviction has been obtained.
The Immigration Bill will build on the Immigration Act 2014, to ensure that only people living lawfully in the UK can have access to UK bank accounts, driving licences and rental accommodation.
Other new measures include cracking down on employers exploiting low-skilled workers, with tougher penalties for those found employing illegal migrants. The government will also strengthen penalties for working illegally in the UK.
There will also be increased powers to make it easier to remove people who have no right to be in the UK.
The Immigration Act 2014 made it harder for people to live in the UK illegally, by restricting access to public services and benefits.
Nearly 36,000 people who had no right to live and work in the UK were removed last year.
The Act also introduced the Immigration Health Surcharge to ensure that migrants contribute towards the cost of the National Health Service.
Since April, the surcharge has collected more than £100 million to help fund the NHS.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said:
“The message is clear — if you are here illegally, you shouldn’t be entitled to receive the every day benefits and services available to hard-working, UK families and people who have come to this country legitimately to contribute.
“Whether it is working, renting a flat, having a bank account or driving a car, the new Immigration Bill will help us to take tougher action than ever before on those who flout the law.
“This Bill will build on the government’s work since 2010 to crack down on abuse and build an immigration system that truly benefits Britain, by deterring illegal migrants from coming – and making it harder for those already here to live and work in the UK.”
The new Bill will also reduce “pull” factors which attract migrants to the UK – as well as reducing access to public services which help them to remain unlawfully.
The Bill sets out to tackle illegal employment, including the new offence of illegal working and measures to stop providing support to failed asylum seekers migrants who do not return home.
UK border security will also be strengthened –and people on immigration bail will be electronically tagged.
The government also seeks to impose a new skills levy on businesses bringing migrant labour into the country, to reduce UK reliance on imported labour and boost the skills of young people in the UK.
A new role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement will be created – and there will be new measures to ensure all public employees in customer-facing roles speak fluent English.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis is a leading firm of immigration solicitors, able to advise migrants from the EU and non-EU countries on a wide range of immigration matters, including right to work in the UK and applying for work visas – as well as:
• Asylum in the UK and asylum appeals
• British citizenship
• Human Rights Act
• Illegal entry to the UK
• Marriage in the UK
• Modern Slavery Bill
• Right to work in the UK
• Spouse visas
• Student visas
• Visa overstays.
For expert legal advice on UK immigration law, call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 020 7923 4020.