Following increased concerns over rising immigration levels and the government’s inability to deport hundreds of foreign criminals each year, often on “human rights” grounds, as of September immigrants will be forced to prove they have had police background checks or face being banned from entering the UK.
Latest government figures show net migration at 318,000, some way off Prime Minister David Cameron’s ambitious target which stands in the “tens of thousands”. The new proposal makes up a significant part of James Brokenshire’s new plans to crackdown on foreign criminals. The initial phase will apply to Tier 1 visa applicants, who are seeking entry as either investors of at least £2 million, entrepreneurs intending to set up a business in the UK or dependants of such migrants. As of September, those applying under Tier 1 will be required to show proof of criminal records checks for every county they have lived in during the previous ten years. Anyone unable to provide proof will be refused a visa, while anyone found lying about their criminal records will be banned from Britain for 10 years.
The initiative is likely to be extended to other visa routes in 2016/17. Records for minor offences, which were committed a long time ago will not necessarily lead to a refused visa application; although more serious crimes resulting in lengthy custodial sentences will not be taken so likely by the Home Office. Implementing such plans will not only help ensure more dangerous foreign criminals are kept off Britain’s streets, but will also help minimise the chance of more serious cases, such as that of Latvian builder Arnis Zalkans.