‘Visa bans’: Powers to refuse or revoke immigration permission for reasons of character, conduct or associations

Published Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Home Secretary and immigration officials are able to refuse permission to enter the UK, or revoke permission already granted, for reasons related to an individual’s character, conduct or associations. It is also possible for the Home Secretary to exclude a person even if they have not indicated an intention to travel to the UK.

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The Home Secretary and immigration officials are able to refuse permission to enter the UK, or revoke permission already granted, for reasons related to an individual’s character, conduct or associations. It is also possible for the Home Secretary to exclude a person even if they have not indicated an intention to travel to the UK.

In August 2005 the Home Office published an indicative list of “unacceptable behaviours” which can lead to exclusion by the Home Secretary. These include using any means or medium to express views which foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence or other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to commit such acts, or which foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.

There is no statutory right of appeal against exclusion by the Home Secretary, although individuals can challenge the decision through judicial review.

There is some information about the use of exclusion powers in the public domain, but it is not Government policy to publicise exclusion decisions as a matter of routine. In a speech delivered to the Royal United Services Institute in late November 2014, the Home Secretary said that she had excluded “hundreds” of people from the UK.

Commons Briefing papers SN07035

Author: Melanie Gower

Topics: Immigration, Terrorism

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