Wed | Jun 19, 2019

Immigration Corner | Immigration detention bail

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2018 | 12:07 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

When a person is detained in the United Kingdom on an immigration matter, is he entitled to bail? I need to know urgently.

- P.H.

Dear P.H.,

Persons can apply for immigration bail if the Home Office is holding them on immigration matters. This means that those persons might be released from detention but they will have to obey at least one condition.

Persons who are held on immigration matters can apply whether they are being held in an immigration removal centre, a detention, centre, or a prison.

Persons are more likely to get bail if they have a place to stay and if they have at least one 'Financial Condition Supporter'. This is a person who will have to pay money if the applicant does not follow the conditions of their bail. He/she must also attend the applicant's bail hearing. The applicant will also need to give information in the application form about where he/she will stay and about their financial condition supporter(s).

Persons may find it harder to get bail if they have broken bail conditions in the past and if they have a criminal record and there is a risk that they might re-offend.

If persons were refused bail in the last 28 days, they will not get another hearing unless their situation has changed significantly. Those persons will need to explain what they think has changed in their application.

If bail is refused, the applicant will get a written statement explaining why. Please be aware that persons might not be released even if they are granted bail. If the removal date is in the 14 days after bail is granted, the Home Office will have to agree to that person's release.


Conditions of bail


If a person is granted bail, there will be at least one condition that he/she will have to obey.

That person might have to:

 Report regularly to an immigration official

 Attend an appointment or hearing

 Be restricted on where he/she can live

 Have an electronic monitoring tag

 Have restrictions on the work or studies that he/she can do

 Obey any other condition decided by the person granting the bail.

In addition, the applicant or their financial condition supporter might have to promise to pay money if they break one of the other conditions of bail. This is called a financial condition. These conditions can be changed after the applicant is granted bail.

If persons do not follow the terms of their bail, they might:

 Have their bail conditions changed so that there are tighter restrictions

 Be charged with a crime

 Have to pay the money agreed at the hearing - or their financial condition Supporter might have to pay

 Be returned to detention.


Change of the bail conditions


Persons can ask to change, or vary, the conditions of their bail - for example, if they need to move to a new address.

If the First-tier Tribunal granted the applicant bail, then the he/she should fill in Form B2 and send it to the nearest First-tier Tribunal hearing centre. Please note that the Home Office might oppose the request.

If the management of the bail has been transferred to the Home Office, then contact them instead. However, if that person is on Secretary of State bail, then he/she should speak to an immigration officer.

It is important to note that those persons on bail must continue to obey the conditions of their bail until a decision has been made to change them.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: