From January 2018, banks and building societies will be required to carry out checks on account holders to check they are legally allowed to be in the UK.
Over 70 million current accounts will be checked.
The Guardian stated this will be the “biggest extension of Theresa May’s plans to create a hostile environment for illegal immigrants in Britain.
A former board member of TSB has warned the checks could be an “absolute nightmare” for staff and the best immigration solicitors are worried that innocent migrants could be adversely targeted due to errors being made by bank and building society staff.
Plans to identify over 6,000 overstayers
The immigration Act 2016 requires banks and building societies to check the identity of account holders against a Home Office supplied database held by the anti-fraud organisation, Cifas.
Safeguards have been included to prevent bank accounts being suddenly closed, leaving the holder with no access to funds for everyday living.
The Home Office, which states the new system is “fair but firm” expects to identify around 6,000 visa overstayers, failed Asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation within the first 12 months of the checks being in place.
Migrants who are identified as being in the UK illegally will have their accounts shut or frozen, “to make it hard for them to establish or maintain a settled life in the UK”. Those affected will be able to access their money once they have left the country.
A recipe for mistakes?
The best immigration lawyers and other migrant welfare groups have pointed out the Home Office’s recent quality record and habit of changing guidance arbitrarily means there is a high chance mistakes will be made.
Satbir Singh, the CEO of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants criticised the move stating; “The government’s own record shows it cannot be trusted even to implement this system properly. immigration status is very complex, and the Home Office consistently gives out incorrect information and guidance.
“Migrants and ethnic minorities with every right to be here will be affected by the imposition of these new checks”.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any Immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration lawyers.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0207 936 9960.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Friday, 22 September, 2017