After receiving Royal Assent, the Immigration Act 2014 became law on 14 May.
The controversial Act significantly widens the government’s powers and severely restricts the ability of migrants to access services. Many of the provisions that we covered back in October 2013 have remained in place.
There are 77 new clauses in the Act and these include:
- A requirement for temporary migrants to make a financial contribution to the National Health Service. The government published its response to the NHS Charging consultation on 31 December 2013. The document can be accessed here and it is expected that a surcharge will be introduced by April next year.
- A requirement for private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants. This was one of the most controversial proposals and will operate as a pilot scheme later this year. The government’s factsheet – ‘Tackling illegal immigration in privately rented accommodation’ can be accessed here.
- A reduction in the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from the current 17 to 4.
- Measures to ensure that those who do not have permission to be in the UK are restricted from accessing bank accounts or driving licences.
- A new provision to enable an individual born between 1983 and 1 July 2006 to a British father who was not married to their non-British mother to obtain British citizenship.
- A power to enable the Home Secretary to deprive a naturalised person of their British citizenship if their actions are deemed to have been seriously prejudicial to the interests of the UK and the Home Secretary has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to become a national of another country.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire has already announced that the government is ‘planning its implementation and will ensure these measures are introduced quickly and effectively.’
We will therefore provide updates when the new measures become effective.