Immigration Rules: Sleeping Rough

Home Office written question – answered on 8th December 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect on modern slavery of immigration rules that would allow officials to refuse leave to remain in the UK on the grounds that an applicant has been rough sleeping.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA citizens from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA citizens from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

The safety and security of modern slavery victims remains a top priority. The Victim Care Contract (VCC) provides support to potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery who have received a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and who have consented to support. The VCC provides support through accommodation (where needed), financial support and specialist support workers.

Following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, adult victims will be provided with a period of recovery and reflection of at least 45 calendar days. During that period, support and assistance will be provided on a consensual basis and potential victims will not be removed from the UK. A period of recovery and reflection will not be observed where grounds of public order prevent it.

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