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Topic: Effect of the new Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act  (Read 3494 times)

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I've seen many questions on this forum regarding spent/unspent convictions.   There was potential help coming with the new Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, that was just given Royal Assent, as it lowered many of the periods before becoming spent, especially fines from 5 years to 1 year.

The big BUT on this is section 140 which exempts the effects of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 from immigration and naturalisation procedures.

Section 140 is headed:  No rehabilitation for certain immigration or nationality purposes

And the key bit is:
Quote
(1) Section 4(1), (2) and (3) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
(effect of rehabilitation) do not apply—
(a) in relation to any proceedings in respect of a relevant
immigration decision or a relevant nationality decision, or
(b) otherwise for the purposes of, or in connection with, any such
decision.

Section 140 was introduced as Amendment 185G with the following words:

Quote
Amendment 185G inserts a new clause into the Bill that exempts immigration decisions from the effect of the ROA. Information about an individual's character and conduct are essential to establishing if an individual should be given permission to enter or remain in the UK, including being granted British citizenship. This amendment means that both spent and unspent convictions can be considered when making these assessments. This will allow the UK Border Agency the appropriate level of discretion in its decision-making.



A discussion of this amendment (now section) was made by the ILPA (Immigration Law Practitioners' Association) in February here:
http://www.ilpa.org.uk/data/resources/14162/12.02.07-Briefing-on-Rehabilitation-of-Offenders.pdf

The part of the discussion regarding domestic violence has been referenced in the past on this forum, however it affects all convictions as they point out toward the end.

It should be noted that though the act is now law, it has not been implemented yet.   Section 141 exempts any immigration/naturalisation proceedings that have begun or decisions made before the commencement date.

It would be interesting to hear the immigration professionals/specialists take on this.

The full act can be found here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/10/pdfs/ukpga_20120010_en.pdf
Arrived on WP (5-year):  24 April, 2006
ILR granted:  28 March, 2011

NCS or Postal: NCS Camden
Date of Submission: 10 April, 2012
Basis: WP => 12 months ILR
Date cheque cleared: 23 April, 2012
Date of acknowledgement letter: 17 April, 2012 (received 21 April)
Date of decision:  26 July, 2012
Date of receiving invitation letter from UKBA: 02 August, 2012
Date of Ceremony: 22 August, 2012

Date of passport interview: 10 October, 2012
Date received passport: 12 October, 2012


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