The Immigration Act 2016

08 June 2016

The Immigration Bill 2015/2016 (the Bill) received royal assent on 12 May 2016 and is now the Immigration Act 2016 (the 2016 Act). The 2016 Act builds on the measures introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) and will make it more difficult for those living illegally in the UK to access services such as bank accounts, rental accommodation and employment.

The 2014 Act was introduced to tackle illegal immigration and, amongst other measures, imposed obligations on landlords to conduct right to rent checks on tenants and obligations on banks to check a prospective client’s immigration status prior to opening a UK bank account. It also increased the maximum civil penalty for employers found to be employing illegal workers and restricted access to UK driving licences.

The 2016 Act further enforces these measures by imposing criminal sanctions on landlords and employers who deliberately do not undertake the necessary immigration checks. It also increases the obligations on banks to check and monitor the immigration status of current and potential account holders and provides immigration and police officers with greater powers to search and seize driving licences and vehicles driven by illegal migrants.

We set out the details of the 2016 Act’s provisions which would most likely impact
high-net-worth individuals, employers and those providing services to migrants.