This information is accurate as of March 2021. We will be updating this information annually.
If you think you may be detained:
- Try to make sure that you have a mobile phone that is fully charged and has credit on it.
Don’t have a phone with a camera as this will be confiscated.
- Have the telephone numbers of your solicitor or legal adviser in your phone, as well as the friend(s) or supporter(s) that you would want to contact if you were detained.
- Put the telephone number of your solicitor/legal adviser or friends/supporters on a separate piece of paper and keep it with you at all times (in case your phone gets confiscated).
- Make sure you tell your friends/supporters when you are going to sign so that if you are detained they can try and get help for you. Tell your friends/supporters to put every effort they can into getting you out of detention.
- Make sure your friends/supporters have the name and telephone number of your solicitor/legal adviser and your Home Office Reference number.
- Think about what you want your friends/supporters to do with your belongings and documents that may be in your house/accommodation.
Can they get access? Have they got a key, for example? You could also give your friends/supporters a signed letter authorising them to act on your behalf.
- If you have an active and ongoing case with the Home Office/UK Borders Agency, take copies of it with you every time you sign.
If you don’t have evidence but you have submitted a fresh claim, for example, tell Dallas Court or the immigration officers of this at the earliest opportunity.
If you have an active case you should not be detained.
- If detained at Dallas Court, you will be transferred to a detention centre – ring and tell your friends/legal adviser where you are as soon as you can.
- If you are detained and served with a removal notice, you have 72 hours before you can be removed.
This gives you time to try and get legal representation or for your solicitor to submit a Judicial Review about the decision to remove you.
- You are more likely to be removed if you are from some countries rather than others. This is due to the political situation in each country and whether it is possible to return you. Find out what the situation is for the country you are from.
- For example, although from October 2010 returns to Zimbabwe were to be recommenced by the Home Office, we have seen that in practice very few Zimbabweans have been detained or removed. Further, there are very few returns to some other countries, for example, Somalia, Eritrea, and Iran. Many people from DRC, for example, are being detained and issued with removal directions.
However, the situation could change in the future.