A deportation order is the enforced removal of someone for the “public good”. It requires you to leave the United Kingdom and authorise your custody until you are removed by a ‘notice for deportation’. It also prohibits you from re-entering the country for as long as it is in force and invalidates any leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.
Deportation is very different from when you leave the UK voluntarily, or from when you are removed from the UK, i.e., when the Home Office enforces your removal.
If you do not have right to remain in the UK, if your application to stay in the UK has been refused, you had a visa / leave to remain, but it has now expired, or you have never had leave to remain, you may be at risk of being removed from the UK by the Home Office.
If you have been convicted of a criminal offence and you are not a British Citizen, you may be at risk of deportation.
What are Removal Orders, and how do they differ from Deportation Orders?
Unlike deportation orders, removal orders would be used if you or your family do not have leave to remain in the UK whether you came to the UK without obtaining leave prior to your entry or your existing leave has expired. You may also be removed if you had leave to stay but only on certain conditions, and you have not kept to the conditions. The circumstances in which a person becomes liable to a removal order are overstayed their visas, entered the UK illegally or by deception; or failed to observe conditions attached to their leave.
Deportation after a criminal sentence
If the Home Office has declared a deportation order in your case, you will be issued with a notice of deportation arrangements. The rules state that if you were sentenced for more than 12 months, your deportation is “conducive to the public good and in the public interest”. The rules also say that your deportation is depriving if you caused serious harm and you are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law”, irrespective of how long you were sentenced for.
If you are liable to deportation, your spouse or civil partner and/or your child are also liable to be deported unless they have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in their own right, or are British, or have been living apart from you.
If you were sentenced to more than four years, the Home Office guidance says you will need to have cogent circumstances in order for a deportation order not to be made or to be revoked. The courts, however, may have a different interpretation of what counts as those circumstances than the Home Office.
If you have been sentenced for less than four years but more than 12 months or your offending is deemed to fall into the “causing serious harm” category described above, the Immigration rules say that deportation would be proportionate except if deportation would be in breach of your rights to family and private life:
If you have a child under the age of 18 in the UK, with whom you have a genuine parental relationship. The child is a British Citizen or has lived in the UK for at least seven years immediately prior to the decision to deport you and it would be too dangerous and unjust for the child to live in the country to which you will be deported or to live without you.
You have a genuine relationship with a partner who is in the UK and has British Citizen or Indefinite Leave to Remain and you also need to show that you have been lawfully resident in the UK for most of your life; and you are integrated in the UK” and there would be “very significant obstacles” to integrate into the country to which you are being deported.
If you are an EEA national and have Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status in the UK (or are eligible to apply), you could still be at risk of deportation from the UK if you are convicted of committing a criminal offence.
If the criminal offence was committed before the end of 2020, the Home Office will need to consider the pre-Brexit rules on EU nationals. This means they would have to show that deportation is in the interests of “the public good, public health or public security”. If the criminal offence was committed after 2020, or you did not have or were ineligible for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status, the normal rules on deportation will apply to you.