Immigration Bill and NHS charging proposals

The Immigration Bill 2015-2016 was published on 17 September 2015.

It will:

  • introduce new sanctions on illegal workers and rogue employers
  • provide better coordination of regulators that enforce workers’ rights
  • prevent illegal migrants in the UK from accessing housing, driving licences and bank accounts
  • introduce new measures to make it easier to enforce immigration laws and remove illegal migrants

The Bill proposes extending the existing criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant to apply where an employer has “reasonable cause to believe” that a person is an illegal worker. The Bill will give the Secretary of State the power to introduce an “immigration skills charge” on certain employers who sponsor skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area. This is in order to address the current skills gap in the UK workforce. The Bill also requires public authorities to ensure that public sector workers in customer-facing roles speak fluent English.

Government announcement

The Immigration Bill 2015-2016

Immigration Bill 2015 – What you need to know by the Migrants’ Rights Network (September 2015)

The residential tenancies provisions in the Immigration Bill 2015/16 and the review of the Right to Rent scheme – Race Equality Foundation Briefing (October 2015)

Update on the Immigration Bill 2015/16 – Race Equality Foundation briefing (November 2015)

Immigration Bill 2015-16: House of Lords Committee Stage Briefing by the Race Equality Foundation (January 2016)

A consultation seeking views on proposed changes to further extend charging for overseas visitors and migrants who use the NHS was launched on 7 December 2015 and closed on 7 March 2016.

Equality and Human Rights Commission parliamentary briefings, including briefings on the Immigration Bill.