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Bail & Detention

Those who are in detention can apply for bail. However, it is important to obtain expert advice because you cannot apply for bail if you have already had a bail application within the last 28 days and your circumstances have not changed.

How we can help people like you

Once we have taken your instructions we can apply for Tribunal Bail. We also specialise in making applications to be released by the High Court. The benefit of applying for Tribunal Bail is that you will get an independent First Tier Tribunal Judge to look at your detention and to determine whether the Home Office arguments to detain you are justifiable. Those who are not applying for Tribunal Bail will have to trust the Home Office to review the detention.

Immigration Bail Applications for Detainees

If you have been detained by the UK Border Agency or under the Immigration Rules and have been in a removal centre or prison for a period of at least 7 days, you will be able to apply to be released on bail.

There are four ways to get out of detention.

  • Home Office bail
  • If your main Immigration case is successful
  • Release by the High Court
  • Bail from an Immigration Judge which is also called Tribunal Bail.

You can apply for bail to the Home Office as many times as you want and even when you are applying for Tribunal Bail.  The application for Home Office bail is free and you should use form 401.

Form B1 is the one used for Tribunal Bail applications.  The Home Office bail is considered on paper only and so by completing the B1 form you will be able to have a hearing in front of an Immigration Judge.  You should receive a decision from the Home Office within 10 days of making the bail application.

All Immigration detainees have a right to apply for a Tribunal Bail application if they have been in the UK for at least eight days and the advantage of applying for Tribunal Bail is that the Judge, who is an independent person, will look at your detention to see if the Home Office arguments are strong enough to keep you in detention.  You cannot apply for Tribunal immigration bail if you have already had a bail application within the last 28 days and your circumstances have not changed significantly.   In order to make a bail application to Court you would need to have financial sureties.  A financial surety is someone who promises the Court that he or she can make sure that you keep in contact with the authorities if you are released from detention and will pay money if you run away.

We will need to have their full details on the bail application form, explain their relationship with you and it is best to use two financial sureties.  They should be legally in the UK and should show financial standing.  It is best to take instructions from the financial sureties so that they will be able to explain to the Immigration Judge how they have come to know you and how they can encourage you to keep in touch with the authorities.

There is no fixed amount for the financial support but it has to be an amount that will be proportionate to his or her income and savings.  The money should belong to the surety and we usually provide Bank statements for at least three months.  The money will not be taken from them unless you do not comply with the bail conditions.


Immigration solicitors & lawyers at Parker Law Firm will be able to help you to prepare your application for bail. To have a chance of succeeding in the bail application you will need at least two people who are prepared to stand as sureties, and you will also need an address where the Immigration Service can be sure you live. Your sureties must be of good character, have secure immigration statuses and be in a position to ensure that you will not abscond. They must also be able to afford to pay sometimes large amounts of money to the authorities.

In Immigration cases, it is also important for us to show in principle why it is not necessary for you to be detained and why the reasons for your detention are inadequate.

Please note that if you are granted bail, it will usually be subject to certain conditions which may require you to report to a Home Office reporting centre at regular intervals, or to remain living at the same address.


In March and in May 2011 the Supreme Court in Walumba Lumba and Kadian Mighty –v- Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] and in Shepherd Masimba Kambadzi –v- Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] the Court endorsed and explained the principles covering the use of powers to detain someone for immigration purposes under Immigration law .

Eight of the nine Supreme Court Judges agreed with the Hardial Singh [1983] decision which set out the principles concerning the use of powers to detain someone for immigration purposes. The principles are that:

The Secretary of State must intend to deport the person and can only use the power to detain for that purpose;
The Deportee may only be detained for a period that is reasonable in all the circumstances;
If before the expiry of the reasonable period, it becomes apparent that the Secretary of State will not be able to effect deportation within a reasonable period, he should not seek to exercise the power of detention;
The Secretary of State should act with all diligence and expedition to effect removal.

These principles apply whether the person is to be removed or deported. However, the Hardial Singh principle cited above will not apply to all people being detained for immigration purposes. They would not apply for Immigration Officers who detain someone at the port of entry to the UK to investigate whether the person is permitted to enter the UK or when an asylum seeker’s claim is being dealt with in the detained fast track.

The Supreme Court considered that in a case of someone who is facing deportation having been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK the risk of re-offending is a relevant factor to consider in relation to the use of immigration detention. I.e. the Immigration Officer should take into account the likelihood of re-offending and the seriousness of any re-offending.

Furthermore the Supreme Court considered that in the case of someone facing deportation or removal, outstanding legal challenges under Immigration law are relevant factors to consider in relation to the use of immigration detention ,for example if the Immigration lawyers are making representations to the UK Border Agency , or an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal or an application for Judicial Review to the Administrative Court has been made. It will be necessary to consider the prospects of any legal challenge succeeding. In short in assessing what period or length of detention is reasonable in all the circumstances, the Supreme Court has concluded that an outstanding legal challenge, particularly where there is some prospect of success, may be a factor indicating that a shorter period is reasonable.

Finally, the Supreme Court also considered that in a case of someone facing deportation a refusal to make a voluntary departure may have little or no relevance to the use of immigration detention.

The Supreme Court also considered the circumstances in which a failure by the UK Border Agency to follow its published policy under Immigration Law may make someone’s detention unlawful. A failure without a good reason by the UK Border Agency to follow a published policy was capable of making someone’s detention unlawful. For example if the UK Border Agency fails to conduct regular reviews of a detention as required by its published policy.


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Parker Law Firm is a niche firm of specialist Immigration Law and Human Rights solicitors situated in the heart of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.


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