Home Affairs Committee Press Release

Session 2007-08, 22 July 2008

Call for Written Evidence

Call for Written Evidence

Draft Immigration and Citizenship Bill: Call for written evidence

The Home Affairs Committee has today extended the terms of reference of its inquiry, “Managing Migration: the Points-Based System” to allow for detailed scrutiny of the Government’s draft (partial) Immigration and Citizenship Bill, published on 14 July. The Committee intends to take oral evidence on the draft Bill in the autumn, ahead of the introduction of the full Bill by the Government in the next session.

The Committee is calling for written evidence specifically on the draft Bill, to inform its deliberations in the autumn. The Committee will consider the Government’s proposals, both those set out in detail in the draft Bill, and those outlined by the Government for inclusion in the full Bill,   as follows:

  • “Strong borders” (including modernising border powers and carriers’ liability and powers to cancel visas abroad)
  • “Selective migration” (including the introduction of ‘permission’ for migrants, replacing notions of leave to enter, leave to remain and entry clearance, and a single power of expulsion)
  • “Earning the right to stay” (including new requirements for citizenship and an automatic ban on returns with new powers to exclude criminals and immigration offenders)
  • “Playing by the rules” (including the introduction of ‘bail bonds’ for those awaiting detention or expulsion, ‘immigration bail’ as an alternative to detention, revised sanctions for breaches of immigration law, and a simplified appeals system)
  • “Managing any local impacts” (including simplification of legislation on access to benefits and services)

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“The Government tells us that it is engaged in “the biggest shake-up to our border protection and immigration system for over 45 years”.  Although it states that much of this Bill is about amending and simplifying existing immigration regulations, the Bill also contains significant changes to existing policy, including on permission to enter and remain in the country, strengthening control of the UK’s borders, and detention and removal of illegal immigrants”.

“We consider it vital that this Committee participates in the debate about these changes and contributes to  the Government’s proposals at the formative stage”.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 2,500 words from interested parties, before it takes oral evidence on this inquiry. Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Wednesday 17th September. Further advice on making a submission can be found below. 

Oral evidence sessions will be held in the autumn of 2008: further announcements will be made in due course.


Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format-not PDF format-and sent by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.