Who Can Apply for Immigration Bail?
As a rule, you can apply if the Home Office is holding you on immigration matters (e.g. in an immigration removal centre, a detention centre, or a prison).
Application for immigration bail is more likely to succeed if you have somewhere to stay and a ‘Financial Condition Supporter’. This person will be responsible for:
- Attending the bail hearing on your behalf.
- Paying money if you breach the conditions of bail.
Note: The bail application form has sections to provide the information on where you will stay and the Financial Condition Supporters.
It is Harder to Get Released on Immigration Bail if:
- You have broken any of the conditions of your bail on a previous occasion (further details below).
- You already have a criminal record and the Home Office believes you may reoffend if they release you from detention.
Detainees who are refused immigration bail would receive a written statement from the Home Office. The letter explains the reasons behind the refusal.
In most cases, being refused bail in the last 28 days means you would not be eligible to get another hearing.
An exception can apply if there is a significant change in your situation. You can use the bail application form to explain situational changes.
Immigrants Due for Removal from United Kingdom
The rules on immigration detention bail differ for individuals due to be removed from the country. Being granted bail does not guarantee you will get released from detention.
Note: The Home Office must agree to the release if the removal date falls in the fourteen (14) days after getting bail.
How to Apply for Immigration Bail
Depending on the actual situation for each detainee, there are two primary methods of applying for immigration detention bail. You can apply to:
- The Home Secretary (also called ‘Secretary of State bail’) any time after arriving in the United Kingdom.
- The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for immigrants arriving more than eight (8) days ago.
Anyone who has been in detention for at least four (4) months might get an automatic referral for a bail hearing.
A different section explains how to represent yourself in court if you do not have legal representation. You can also get help with a bail application from a legal adviser (e.g. a solicitor).
Note: You can also apply to be released on bail when appealing to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission against an immigration decision.
Applying for Secretary of State Bail
The ‘Secretary of State Bail’ procedure means you are applying direct to the Home Secretary for bail. You can make this type of immigration bail application from the first day that you arrive in the United Kingdom.
There is a specific form for detainees to use when making an application to the Secretary of State to be released on bail.
Use Form BAIL401 to explain the reason why you are requesting bail. If you cannot download the form, you can also get it from:
- The welfare officer (for immigrants detained in one of the Immigration Removal Centres).
- The detention paperwork pack (for people detained in one of the prison facilities).
Note: Home Office staff would consider this type of application for bail and make a decision without the need for a hearing.
Applying for Bail from First-tier Tribunal
Arrival in the United Kingdom more than eight (8) ago means you can apply to the independent ‘First-tier Tribunal’ for bail. Independent judges use this process at hearings to make decisions on immigration bail applications.
Use Form B1 to apply for bail to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if the Home Office holds you on immigration matters. If you are unable to download form B1, you can contact:
- The staff working at the detention centre that is holding you.
- The tribunal
You might already have a tribunal appeal hearing scheduled (as part of an appeal against a visa or immigration decision).
If so, fill in the application form and send it to the tribunal or to the hearing centre where it is taking place. You can also browse an index of all courts and tribunals listed from A to Z.
Note: The staff at the place where you are being held can fax an application to the correct venue if you do not have an appeal hearing scheduled.
Automatic Referral for Bail by Home Office
The Home Office can also refer you to the First-tier Tribunal for a bail hearing by automatic process. They would make the application on your behalf, using any information that they already have, if (all must be true):
- The period spent in detention has been at least four (4) months.
- The detention is NOT in the interests of national security.
- There is no specific action being taken for deportation from the United Kingdom.
- There was no application for bail to the First-tier Tribunal (in the previous 4 months).
Note: As a rule, the Home Office will make this automatic application for bail every four months. But, you can make your own bail application or refuse the referral for bail altogether.
Procedures at the First-tier Tribunal Hearing
In most cases, a hearing will determine whether you should be get immigration detention bail. It would take place within a few days of receiving the application. A ‘notice of hearing’ will inform you of the date and the venue.
You would receive a copy of a ‘Bail Summary’ from the Home Office. This is a document sent to the tribunal listing the reasons why they believe you should not get bail.
It is very unlikely that you would be in the room when the hearing takes place. In most cases, it will happen over a video-link conferencing format instead.
Note: Read more about tribunal rules and procedures as part of making an appeal against a visa or immigration decision (including current legislation and previous decisions).
Immigration Bail Conditions to Obey
Being granted bail means you will have at least one condition to comply with. Typical conditions of immigration detention bail include having to:
- Attend an appointment or a hearing.
- Comply with restrictions on where you can live and the work or studies that you can carry out.
- Obey any other conditions decided by the person who granted your bail.
- Report to an immigration official on a regular basis.
- Wear an electronic monitoring tag.
In most cases, it is possible to change some conditions after a successful bail application. But, failing to follow the terms of your bail means you may:
- Have tighter restrictions added to your bail conditions.
- Be charged with a crime.
- Need to pay an amount of money agreed at the hearing (or paid by your Financial Condition Supporter).
- Be returned to detention.
Note: There may be a ‘financial condition’ attached. It means you (or a Financial Condition Supporter) promise to pay money if you breach any of the conditions of your bail.
How to Change the Conditions of Bail
You can make a request to ‘vary’ the conditions of your bail (e.g. changing to a new address). Use Form B2 if the First-tier Tribunal granted bail. Fill it in and send it to a First-tier Tribunal hearing centre close to your location.
Discuss the changes with an immigration officer if you have Secretary of State bail. You must continue obeying all the conditions of bail until they make a decision on the requested changes.
Note: Contact the Home Office instead if they have management of the bail. But, they can oppose a request to change the conditions of your bail.