Immigration offences often have some form of fraudulent background. The key element is ‘dishonest’ and may involve any one of these situations:
Entering without leave
Obtaining leave by deception
Failing to observe conditions of leave
Assisting or facilitating unlawful immigration
Facilitating entry of asylum seekers
Employment of illegal immigrants
Forgery & counterfeiting offences
Identity document offences; or
Non-co-operation with a request for information
Further to recent media interest in immigration law and the increase of foreign nationals wanting to enter the UK; border agency prosecutions of immigration offences is becoming more common. Facing such charges is extremely stressful, especially if English is not your first language.
Taking early action can make all the difference with regards to the outcome of your case. A good lawyer with experience in immigration law may even be able to get your case dismissed before it progresses to the court stage.
Have you been charged or arrested for Immigration Fraud?
Being charged or accused in connection with immigration fraud offences is very worrying. It’s typical to feel stressed, confused, anxious and deeply concerned about what the outcome of any investigation might be.
There might be some confusion about who was involved, who did what and what happened. It might be that you weren’t even involved in any of what you are being accused of, and there should be no suspicion of you playing a role.
To provide you with a basic guide to what typically happens during an immigration fraud case, we have put together some of the typical questions that our clients ask, with the answers. We aim to make this as easy and stress-free for you as possible.
If you have a question that is not answered here, please call us on 0208 888 5225, use the WhatsApp link on this page. We will provide you with as much information as we can to give you as much peace of mind as possible.
Examples of what offences may be part of your Immigration Fraud case
A number of different acts and crimes can contribute to an immigration fraud case. Here are some examples:
Student visa fraud
Being illegally employed to work in the UK
Bogus colleges, degrees and certificates
Visa and passport fraud
Due to the complex nature of immigration fraud cases, it can be challenging for prosecutors to prove that the accused have acted dishonestly.
What happens in an Immigration Fraud investigation?
When an immigration fraud investigation takes place, it can be a time of much worry and anxiety. You may be concerned that you or your loved one may either face a prison sentence or could be deported. You will fear that your dependents may not have your income available for them to pay for their mortgage, rent or groceries.
It’s crucial that you take early action when you’re involved in an immigration fraud case. It’s commonplace for those accused not to understand what’s taking place due to a lack of English language skills. In some cases, the offence has occurred because the person involved does not have enough English language fluency to be able to follow the legal procedures that are required to satisfy immigration officers.
You’ll typically discover that you’re part of an immigration fraud case when you find the police or border agency staff at your workplace or at your home. Depending on the offence for which you’re being accused, you may be asked whether you have the right to remain in the UK or whether you are a UK resident. Alternatively, you may be asked about the immigration status of your employees or family members.
It’s likely that you’ll be requested to attend an interview at the police station unless your arrest has already occurred.
You may have been falsely accused of immigration fraud
There are many cases to date where people have been wrongly accused of immigration fraud. If you feel this may have happened to you, or that you have been tricked by fake paperwork, then it’s important that you get in touch with a competent immigration fraud solicitor.
By taking the counsel of a lawyer with experience and expertise in this field, you may even be able to get your case dismissed.
Without a lawyer, you cannot find out more until the interview
One of the biggest advantages of taking on an immigration fraud lawyer is that you will be given support and legal advice for any interviews. Immigration fraud interviews may be conducted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), UK Immigration Service, the police or even HM Revenue and Customs.
When it comes to taking part in the police interview, it’s vital to note that it can be intimidating, oppressive and anxiety-inducing. The primary objective of the police is to obtain a conviction. They have been trained in many tactics to reach their goal, some of which are not transparent. We recommend that you do not attend a police or immigration interview under any circumstances without an immigration fraud solicitor being present.
If you’re being accused of taking part in an immigration fraud case, you may not immediately gain access to all the evidence that the police have on you. A favourite tactic of the police is to drip-feed the proof to you gradually. The reason for this is that the police are hoping that they can trip you up. They are looking for you to say something that will incriminate you as you won’t know the full extent of the information that they have in their possession.
The important thing to remember is that whatever happens at the police interview can strongly influence what the outcome of the court case is. By engaging a sharp defence lawyer, you will know what to say and when so that you don’t make matters worse than they need to be.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
As soon as you are aware that you are being accused of immigration fraud, it’s critical that you hire a competent solicitor with experience in this field of law. A good immigration fraud lawyer can support you even before a charge is brought.
What should you do if you get arrested or charged with Immigration Fraud?
Immigration fraud is a very complicated area of law. Of course, it’s absolutely your choice as to whether you take legal representation. It’s not compulsory, but it’s recommended that you do so. By taking early action, you may be able to improve your situation and even swing the investigation and case into your favour. This could mean that you avoid a hefty fine, deportation and/or a heavy prison sentence.
With immigration law changing regularly, it can be hard to stay on top of it. It’s challenging even for immigration fraud legal specialists to stay current and to know how to apply the law to influence the outcome of a trial to be positive.
By hiring specialist legal support, you can gain peace of mind that everything that can be done, will be.
Can the police search my home?
It’s common for the police to seek a search warrant so that they can look for further evidence. They will ask the permission of a judge or a magistrate to search your workplace, your home and your vehicle. They will also look at your mobile phone, your computer and any other communication device in order to find something they can use to convict you.
Could you go to prison for Immigration Fraud?
Immigration fraud is considered to be a very serious offence. Many different outcomes could occur from being convicted. If you’re not a UK resident with permission to stay, you may be deported. If you are a UK resident and you’ve been convicted, then you may be imprisoned and given a fine.
We handle immigration fraud allegations and accusation cases regularly and have deep expertise and experience in this field. Our legal team can provide you with guidance and advice for you to take the best possible course of action. No matter what your case is or the size of it, get in touch with us now.
What type of sentence could you get for Immigration Fraud?
If you are charged, found guilty and convicted of immigration fraud, you’ll likely receive a custodial sentence and be required to leave the UK. It is often the case that the decision to deport you is automatic by law, subject to your right to challenge the decision.
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
When sentencing for immigration fraud, your case will be carefully examined for your role, exactly what happened and the seriousness of the fraud part. If you’ve been involved in falsifying identities, or paperwork, this could also influence the sentence that you receive.
Does a conviction for Immigration Fraud go on your criminal record?
If your immigration fraud case progresses to court and you are found guilty, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
At Stuart Miller Solicitors, our specialist immigration fraud solicitors will be able to explain the law to you in a way which is easy to understand. We will be able to seek funding for the evidence to be translated in your native language and this in itself will provide you with better chances of success.
Our immigration fraud solicitors have defended some of the largest, most serious and high-profile immigration frauds of recent times. We have numerous successful results in this field and defended one of the largest and most significant sham marriages prosecutions originally uncovered by the BBC Panorama programme.
We are experts in negotiations with the UKBA and always try to find the outcome most favourable to our client. If we can secure sufficient and credible defence material at the outset, you will find our Immigration Fraud Solicitors eager to seek an early end to the proceedings.
Immigration offences often have some form of fraud background. The key element is usually ‘dishonesty’ and our fraud solicitors are experts at defending these allegations. Whether you are pursued for offences under the Immigration Act, the Immigration & Asylum Act or the Fraud Act, we will be ready to offer effective advice and provide pro-active representation to achieve your objectives.
If you are accused of human trafficking offences or arranging sham marriages, you can be confident that our immigration fraud lawyers have the knowledge, expertise and tactical resolve to fight on your behalf.
Want to discuss your case with an Immigration Fraud Solicitor?
If you’d like to have a no obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.
In addition to giving you a free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can look at securing your legal aid.
Stuart Miller Solicitors have recently defended several very large cases involving human trafficking and sham marriage allegations. There were vast defence investigations required in these cases which required specialists and not general practitioners. Undertaking foreign investigations, securing huge numbers of witnesses and chasing historic defence material are all fundamental challenges facing an immigration fraud solicitor. Each piece of evidence takes our client closer to success and Stuart Miller Solicitors are always committed to achieving that success where possible.
Taking early and swift action is important. Please contact us and ask to speak to our fraud solicitors to arrange a meeting in person, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find on this page.
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