Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006

Last updated: December 2020 | 2 min read

The provisions in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 were brought into force incrementally in a series of three Orders between June and December 2006.

Further amendments were made in 2007 and 2008.


The 2008 Order introduces civil penalties for businesses that hire employees (aged over 16) who are subject to immigration control. The offence is a civil one, with a fine of up to £10,000. A business may claim exception where the employee falsified certain documents that the business checked.

Additionally, the person who hires any adult immigrants illegally staying in the UK commits a criminal offence and can be fined an unlimited amount and jailed for up to 2 years.

The Act also introduced a points-based system for workers in order to filter out those without certain skills that are deemed to be in demand. As part of this system, foreign students are required to obtain licences from the college to which they apply, and employees are required to sponsor visa applications.

The immigration appeals process

The notable change to the immigration appeals process was to restrict the bases under which an immigrant can appeal to human rights and race discrimination reasons. This removed the previously valid reasons for appeal of being a dependent, a visitor or a student.

Appeals started in the UK must be for asylum.

Increased information rights for policing

Immigration officers may ask for (and obtain) biometric data from immigrants arriving in the UK in order to provide sufficient evidence that the person is who they claim to be in their passport and in other documents.

The police may request the same information from crew and passengers aboard aeroplanes and ships in advance of docking or landing.

Citizenship and Right of Abode

The Act gives the Home Secretary power to remove British citizenship (or Right of Abode) if he or she believes that doing so is "conducive to the public good". No further evidence is required. This power has been used notably to deprive citizens by marriage who are suspected of criminal activity from staying in the UK.

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