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Assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons is the offence of helping people to enter or stay in the UK through dishonest means.

Assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons is the offence of helping people to enter or stay in the UK through dishonest means. The key element is ‘dishonest’ and may involve any one of these situations:

  • Employment of Illegal Immigrants
  • Forgery & Counterfeiting Offence
  • Identity Document Offences; or
  • Non-Co-operation With a Request for Information
  • Entering Without Leave
  • Obtaining Leave by Deception
  • Overstaying
  • Failing to Observe Conditions of Leave
  • Assisting or Facilitating Unlawful Immigration
  • Facilitating Entry of Asylum Seekers

In recent years there has been a lot of interest in living in the UK from foreign nationals. There have been media coverage of couples who have married, but without a relationship. Prosecution by Border Agents are becoming more common when it comes to immigration offences.

Being charged for an offence of this nature is very stressful, more so if English is not your first language.

The outcome of your case can be positively affected by taking early action. Hiring a competent solicitor with experience in this field can make all the difference, they may even be able to get your case dismissed.

Have you been charged or arrested for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons? 

Receiving allegations or a charge for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons offence is very stressful. Whether it’s you or a loved one in this situation, you’re going to feel very concerned about what the outcome of your case may be.

In some cases, there is confusion about what happened, who was involved and who did what. If you are being accused, but you weren’t involved, then you need to work with a solicitor to get your name cleared.

We’ve put together some information about the crime of assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons so that you can understand more about what the offence is and what the outcome of a potential trial might be.

If you have a question that you would like answered by a legal professional, then feel free to ask us. You can use our contact form to contact us, or you can call us on 0208 888 5225. If you need to speak to somebody because you’ve been arrested then call our emergency number above.

What is assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons?

Several acts and crimes can contribute to an illegal assisting entry or harbouring persons case. Here are some examples of offences that may be connected to your case:

  • Modern slavery
  • Forged documents
  • Forced marriages
  • Bogus colleges, degrees and certificates
  • Visa and passport fraud
  • Sponsorship fraud
  • Student visa fraud
  • Being illegally employed to work in the UK
  • Human trafficking
  • Sham marriages
  • Identity fraud

Due to the complex nature of assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons cases, it can be challenging for prosecutors to provide enough evidence to the courts that prove the accused have acted dishonestly.

What occurs in an assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons investigation?

It’s no secret that being involved in any investigation in an assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons investigation can cause anxiety. There will be worries about what the outcome might be. Will there be a prison sentence, deportation, a fine or what?

One frequent concern of our clients is based on how being imprisoned may affect the finances of dependents. Not having access to their normal channel of income may impact their ability to pay for the mortgage, rent, utilities or even food.

As soon as you discover that you could be part of a police investigation, you must take early action. Your best move is to engage a lawyer who has experience in assisting illegal entry or harbouring person cases. Many times the people involved in the offence cannot speak English, so there may also be a need to hire a translator or interpreter.

There are situations where an offence of this nature has taken place due to there not being enough understanding of the English language. The accused may not have understood what was required of them to satisfy the immigration laws.

Most people who are part of an investigation into assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons case is when the police make contact or when there is an interrogation at a border. There may be questions as to whether you are a UK resident or whether you have the right to remain in the UK. You may be asked about the immigration status of any employees or family members.

The police or immigration control may ask you to attend an interview to answer further questions.

Have you been wrongly accused of assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons?

People are frequently accused of taking part in a crime in which they have had no involvement. If this sounds very familiar to you and you have found yourself falsely accused of being involved in an assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons offence, then your first step should be to engage an experienced immigration solicitor.

In some cases, an experienced lawyer can even get the case dismissed.

Find out more about what evidence there is on you through a good lawyer

Unless you already have some understanding of the benefits of using an immigration lawyer when making any contact with police, then you may not be aware of the difference it can make to the outcome of your case.

There are many categories of people who may interview you about what your involvement was in the case. These people may be the police, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), HM Revenue and Customs or somebody from the police force.

Once you engage your lawyer, then you can expect to receive legal advice and other support which is invaluable during any interview. Typically being interviewed can bring about feelings of anxiety, oppression and intimidation.

The primary goal of these people is to try to find out what happened and what your role was. The police are trained to secure convictions, and that is their main goal. Calling on a number of tactics, the police will go all out to get a conviction. This is why it’s critical to not attend a police interview or any interview without being accompanied by a lawyer with experience in assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons offences.

Once you’ve engaged a lawyer, you’re going to give yourself some immediate defence. Not only will you be guided in what to say and what not to say, but the lawyer can request to be shown and told of any further evidence that the police have.

Normally, the police will not tell you about what evidence they have on you. They will keep it ‘up their sleeves’ and work on trying to get you to trip yourself up. They will ask you all kinds of questions in an attempt to catch you out if you inadvertently or purposefully don’t tell your version of events in the way they are expecting you to.

There is a big reason why you don’t want to get caught out by the police. You seriously don’t want to incriminate yourself. What happens during the initial interview can be what sways the outcome of the investigation and what the result is in the courthouse.

Engage a lawyer as soon as you can

Once you discover what’s going on, it’s essential that you take on a lawyer. Being accused of assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons is a stressful place to be. It’s vital that you get somebody on your side who is competent and who has experience of this field of law.

Assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons: arrested or charged?

Assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons is a complex offence in a very complicated area of law. Of course, whether you decide to hire a lawyer is entirely your choice. Although it’s not compulsory to engage a lawyer, not doing so can put you into a position of weakness. The police will be going all out to gain a conviction. They will be trying to trip you up.

Taking on a lawyer can mean that you get a much better outcome, in some cases lawyers are able to get the case dismissed. In others, they manage to shorten any prison sentence, decrease a fine and avoid deportation.

A good lawyer stays current with immigration law so that they know how it can be applied in your favour. The best assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons legal specialists can influence the outcome of a trial in such a way that it changes the life of the accused.

Once you hire an immigration lawyer you’ll feel far more at ease, knowing that you’ve done all you can to defend yourself.

Can the police search my home?

The police frequently request a search warrant from the courts so that they can look for more evidence to support their case.  The process of requesting a search warrant is done through the courts and has to be signed off by a magistrate or a judge. The search warrant may include your home, your vehicle and even your workplace. Your phone, laptop or other devices are likely to be searched by the police at this time.

Does being convicted for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons mean a prison sentence?

Considered by the courts to be a serious offence, assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons case that end in conviction can mean time in prison and sometimes payment of a fine. If you are neither a UK resident nor in possession of permission you stay, you may be deported.

If you are worried about may happen in your case, you can call our legal team on x or complete our contact form and somebody will get in touch with you. Our aim is to support anybody who is in trouble and needs support, so we can chat with you about your options. We can also support you if you’ve been arrested and have a 24 / 7 number for you to call which you can see above.

What sentence may you get for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons?

If you’re convicted of the offence of assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons, you’re your sentence will depend on what you did and what happened. Being a UK resident and being convicted will typically mean that you’re given a prison sentence, which could range between x months and x years.

Read more about sentencing for Assisting Illegal Entry or Harbouring Persons offences

What will be considered in sentencing?

The judge will use the guidelines provided by xxxx when deciding what your sentence should be. Any penalty for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons, will be set by looking at what you did, what your role was and what the outcome of the case was. If you falsified documents and counterfeited travel documents, then this will also be considered.

Will I get a criminal record for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons?

Being found guilty and convicted for assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons case will result in you being given a permanent criminal record.

How can Stuart Miller Solicitors help you?

At Stuart Miller Solicitors, our lawyers are known for having vast experience in many different fields of law including immigration.

We have specialist assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons solicitors who have successfully defended others in similar cases to yours. One of the benefits of working with our legal team is that we will seek funding so that all evidence can be translated into your native language so that you can fully understand and therefore improve your chances of success.

Our lawyers experience includes defending sham marriages that you may have watched on the BBC Panorama programme. We have been highly successful in this field.

Call us to discuss your assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons case

You’re quite likely to have some questions with regards to any assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons case. We are happy to have a no obligation chat with you to discuss what your unique circumstances are, what your options are and what the potential outcome could be.



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