New Clause 9 - Removals from the UK: visa penalties for uncooperative countries

Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 4th November 2021.

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“(1) The immigration rules may make such visa penalty provision as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in relation to a specified country.

(2) A country may be specified for the purposes of this section if, in the opinion of the Secretary of State—

(a) the government of the country is not cooperating in relation to the return to the country from the United Kingdom of any of its nationals or citizens who require leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but do not have it, and

(b) as a result, there are nationals or citizens of the country that the Secretary of State has been unable to return to the country, whether or not others have been returned.

(3) In forming an opinion as to whether a country is cooperating in relation to returns, the Secretary of State must take the following into account—

(a) any arrangements (whether formal or informal) entered into by the government of the country with the United Kingdom government or the Secretary of State with a view to facilitating returns;

(b) the extent to which the government of the country is—

(i) taking the steps that are in practice necessary or expedient in relation to facilitating returns, and

(ii) doing so promptly;

(c) such other matters as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(4) In determining whether to specify a country for the purposes of this section, the Secretary of State must take the following into account—

(a) the length of time for which the government of the country has not been cooperating in relation to returns;

(b) the extent of the lack of cooperation;

(c) the reasons for the lack of cooperation;

(d) such other matters as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(5) ‘Visa penalty provision’ is provision that does one or more of the following in relation to applications for entry clearance made by persons as nationals or citizens of a specified country—

(a) requires that entry clearance must not be granted pursuant to such an application before the end of a specified period;

(b) suspends the power to grant entry clearance pursuant to such an application;

(c) requires such an application to be treated as invalid for the purposes of the immigration rules;

(d) requires the applicant to pay £190 in connection with the making of such an application, in addition to any fee or other amount payable pursuant to any other enactment.

(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations substitute a different amount for the amount for the time being specified in subsection (5)(d).

(7) Before making visa penalty provision in relation to a specified country, the Secretary of State must give the government of that country reasonable notice of the proposal to do so.

(8) The immigration rules must secure that visa penalty provision does not apply in relation to an application made before the day on which the provision comes into force.

(9) Visa penalty provision may—

(a) make different provision for different purposes;

(b) provide for exceptions or exemptions, whether by conferring a discretion or otherwise;

(c) include incidental, supplementary, transitional, transitory or saving provision.

(10) Regulations under subsection (6)—

(a) are subject to affirmative resolution procedure if they increase the amount for the time being specified in subsection (5)(d);

(b) are subject to negative resolution procedure if they decrease that amount.

(11) Sums received by virtue of subsection (5)(d) must be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

(12) In this section—

‘cooperating in relation to returns’ means cooperating as mentioned in subsection (2)(a);

‘country’ includes any territory outside the United Kingdom;

‘entry clearance’ has the same meaning as in the Immigration Act 1971 (see section 33(1) of that Act);

‘facilitating returns’ means facilitating the return of nationals or citizens to a country as mentioned in subsection (2)(a);

‘immigration rules’ means rules under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971;

‘specified’ means specified in the immigration rules.”—(Tom Pursglove.)

This new clause enables immigration rules to make provision penalising applicants for entry clearance from countries that are not cooperating with the United Kingdom in relation to the return of their nationals who require leave to enter or remain here but do not have it.

Brought up, and read the First and Second Time.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division number 60 Nationality and Borders Bill — New Clause 9 - Removals from the UK: visa penalties for uncooperative countries

Aye: 10 MPs

No: 2 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Committee divided: Ayes 10, Noes 2.

Question accordingly agreed to.

New clause 9 added to the Bill.