Deportation of foreign criminals from the UK

All foreign nationals who receive a custodial sentence in the UK are referred by prisons to the Home Office for consideration of deportation and removal. Home Office also receives referrals for deportation of foreign criminals from the police, other law enforcement bodies and the security agencies. The offenders referred to the Home Office are classified as foreign national offenders (FNO) and even those who already have an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) can receive a deportation order and be deported and removed from the UK. Those who obtained British citizenship are not considered as FNOs.

According to the current law, all individuals who receive a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, have committed an offence that caused serious harm, or are a persistent offender, can be considered for deportation and removal from the UK. All EU and EEA nationals that have committed a crime after 31 December 2020 will be subject to the same deportation regime as non-EU nationals.

If you have been a victim of a foreign national and he was sentenced to spend time in prison, you have certain rights as a victim. Home Office will keep you informed about actions they are taking against the individual that perpetrated the crime against you. More in detail information about that is available on the Home Office website.

After Home Office makes their decision to deport a foreign national, the foreign offender is given a notice of deportation.

foreign national offender

Right to appeal against deportation.

When you are considered for deportation from the UK, you have the right to appeal. Foreign national offenders facing deportation, can take steps to stop the deportation. You can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) to appeal the deportation order. If that fails, you can take your deportation case to the Upper Immigration Tribunal. You may be able to rely on your human rights, for example if your family life rights will be breached if you are deported to your country of origin.

FNOs can be deported at different stages of their prison sentence under schemes such as the Early Removal Scheme or Prisoner Transfer Agreements. Many FNOs are deported directly from prison. In some cases offenders are deported after their sentence has been served. After leaving the prison they are often detained under immigration powers. That detention should be used only if Home Office is able to deport an individual in a reasonable period of time.

Key lessons to remember

Any foreign national who resides in the UK can be subject to deportation if commits a criminal offence(s) as described above. Even if you have an Indefinite leave to remain in the UK you can still be deported as a foreign national offender. This is one of the reasons why you should apply for naturalisation in the UK as soon as you are eligible. With British citizenship you no longer have to fear deportation from the UK, or face a long and costly appeal procedure against deportation. This is also why parents should apply for their children to register as British as soon as their children are eligible.