Status Now Network Glossary of Key Terms

Introduction

The UK Immigration System becomes increasingly complicated and unfit for purpose. In the 1970’s, when they began, the Immigration Rules covered 20 pages and now number 1100.  As the rules elongate so do the number of legal terms introduced by the Home Office.

Immigration terms can be confusing and imprecise.  In addition, very often, both politicians and media outlets use incorrect terminology.   

An example of this is the incorrect use of the term ‘deportation’ when referring to someone who has been removed from the UK through an ‘administrative removal’ because they no longer have permission to stay in the UK. The term ‘deportation’ refers to persons who have been convicted of criminal offences in the UK and the Home Office has decided that they should be deported from the UK. Therefore, referring to someone as being ‘deported’ implies that they have committed criminal offences which may not be the case and could have serious consequences for the person involved.

The list below represents some of the most common terms used, but it is not a complete list of the terminology used by the UK’s Home Office.   

IT IS A WORKING DOCUMENT.

Are there any Home Office terms that don’t appear here and that should be added?  Could any of these definitions be worded better? Please let Shaista, Status Now 4 All’s co -chair know by emailing her at shaista.raja@rapar.org.uk.  Thank you.

Status Now Network’s working definitions of some Key Terms:

Administrative removal – a person being removed from the UK when they have no permission from the State to stay in the UK.

Asylum Seeker – an immigrant who has been forcibly displaced and may have fled their home country because of war or other reasons affecting their lives.

Biometric information – fingerprints and a digital photograph being taken as part of an immigration application process.

Biometric residence permit (BRP) – a document about the size of a photocard driving licence issued by the Home Office, confirming the State’s conferment of a person’s right to stay, work or study in the UK.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) – a unique reference number electronically issued by an Education Provider via the Sponsor Management System. It is necessary for a Student to have a CAS when applying for a right to enter or stay under Tier 4 (student category).

Conviction – a conviction for a criminal offence in the UK or any other country.

Country Guidance case – a case in which the Upper Tribunal (UT) issues guidance on the situation in a particular country, based on an assessment of what is described as expert and factual evidence. This guidance should then be followed by the First-tier Tribunal when making

decisions on appeals unless significant new evidence is produced which shows the country guidance case should no longer be followed.  

Curtailment – shortening a person’s right to stay in the UK which may leave the person with a shorter right to stay or no right to stay. For example, if a person had a right to remain in the UK based on their marriage for another 12 months, and the Home Office became aware that the marriage had broken down; they may ‘curtail’ the leave so that the person would be instructed to leave the UK within a specified time period.

Deception – providing false information or submitting false documents.

Deportation – refers to someone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and the Home Office has decided that they should be deported from the UK. Deportation action is usually taken where a person has been sentenced to a period of 12 months imprisonment or more, although can is also taken for shorter sentences and is being used against people whose sentences have been served. 

Discretionary Leave to Remain – when the Home Office gives a person permission to reside in the UK, after an asylum or non-asylum application. This form of leave is given when an application is considered outside of the Immigration Rules.

EEA national – a European Union national (this does not include nationals of the UK).

Entry clearance – the Home Office grant of permission to enter the UK. This is granted to a person who applies from abroad to come to the UK.

First Tier Tribunal – The First Tier Tribunaldeals with appeals against decisions made by the Home Office in relation to permission to stay in the UK or a deportation from the UK or entry clearance to the UK. They also hear bail applications for people in Immigration Detention.

First-Tier Tribunal Judge – hear and decide appeals on immigration and asylum matters in the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

‘Illegal’ entry is the term used by the State to refers to someone who has entered the UK without obtaining the required visa before entry.

Immigration Bail – Immigration Bail is a legal procedure available to any person who has been detained by the Home Office, once they have been in the UK for seven days or more.There are two ways to get released on bail from immigration detention: Secretary of State Bail (Home Office bail) Bail from an immigration judge (First-tier Tribunal bail).

Immigration Health Surcharge is the UK healthcare charge that non-EU nationals are expected  to pay as part of their immigration application process. This allows them to access ‘free’ healthcare services from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Immigration Rules – a list of rules that set out the requirements of the State that an applicant needs to meet in order to be granted a visa or leave to remain in each/any of the immigration categories.

In breach of immigration laws – refers to someone who is residing in the UK without the State’s permission to stay or is breaching conditions attached to their right to stay i.e., a visitor working in the UK when this is not permitted.

Indefinite leave to remain – the Home Office grant of permanent permission/right to reside in the UK. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right of abode in the UK, but who has been granted permission to reside in the UK without any time limit on their stay and who is free to take up employment or study.

Leave to enter – the Home Office grant of right to enter the UK to a person who has applied from outside the UK.

Leave to remain – the Home Office grant of right to stay in the UK to a person who has applied within the UK.

Legal process – means the time whilst a person’s immigration application is in process. The duration in which the Home Office is processing an application.

Naturalisation – the process of becoming a British citizen once a person can satisfy the relevant requirements, including having resided in the UK for a particular period.

Overstayer – a person who has remained in the UK after the State’s permission for them to stay in the UK has expired.

Points Based System (PBS) – the process used by the Home Office to determine applications made by individuals from outside the EU wishing to work, train or study in the UK.

Present and settled in the UK – a person who has a permanent right to stay in the UK and at time of the application, they are physically present in the UK or coming to the UK with or to join an applicant.

Public funds – this includes a range of benefits that are given to people on low income, as well as housing support.

Removal (forced removal) – sometimes referred to as ‘administrative removal’ is when the Home Office enforces your removal from the UK if you do not have any leave to remain: if your application for leave to remain has been refused, or you did have some form of leave to remain, but it has now expired. You are at risk of removal if you do not have any leave to remain in the UK and have not applied for any; if your asylum or immigration application is refused; or the leave you had has expired.

Settled in the UK – a person who has a permanent right to stay in the UK.

Sponsor (family type applications) – a person who the applicant is accompanying to the UK or applying to join in the UK.

Tier 4 (general) student – an immigration route in the UK, under the points-based system, for ‘students’ aged 16 and over from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The UK immigration Tier 4 Student Visa is for foreign students who wish to study in the UK. If a person has been accepted for a full-time position at a UK educational institution, they may be eligible to enter the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa. They may also be able to work while studying in the UK.

UKVCAS – name of service centres used by individuals applying to extend their stay or applying for citizenship in the UK. To complete the application process, individuals attend an appointment at one of the service centres and to upload their documentary evidence online before the appointment, or pay extra to have it uploaded at the appointment centre.

Undocumented migrant – A person who is not born in the country where they are living and does not possess the legal paperwork (status) required to remain in the country in which they live.

Undocumented person – not having any documents to prove that you have the legal rights to live in a country

Undocumented worker – workers who are born in another country and do not possess the legal documentation that is required to work in the country in which they live.

Visa – a conditional authorisation granted by the UK Border Agency (Border Force) to an individual allowing them to enter and/or stay in the UK.

The above list is not a complete list of the terminology used by the Home Office but represents some of the most common terms used.   IT IS A WORKING DOCUMENT.

Are there any Home Office terms that don’t appear here and that should be added?  Could any of these definitions be worded better? Please let Status Now 4 All’s co -chair Shaista know by emailing her at shaista.raja@rapar.org.uk