Travel documents and bail strategies


Advice to legal representatives taken from "Challenging Immigration Detention: a best practice guide", ILPA/BID,  2003.  Page 64 (guide currently under revision)

In cases where the UKBA is applying for travel document from the country of origin, (and there is no dispute as to nationality) you will need to ascertain:  

  • When was the travel document submitted to the embassy?
  • What reminders have been sent to chase it up?
  • What is UKBA's view of the length of time the application will take and what is this estimate based on?
  • Has any response been received, and if so, what was this response?
  • Has your client cooperated in providing information and/or documentation?

Once you have ascertained that travel documents are not yet available, you should consider making an application for bail for your client.  In fact you may find that it is necessary to make several bail applications if the travel document application continues to be delayed.  A series of bail applications will demonstrate to the court that no progress has been made on the case, despite the weeks or months of further detention.

Where the UKBA has given a previous estimate of how long the travel documentation will take, and this is proved to be mistaken, you can lodge a further bail application at the point at which the estimated time has elapsed (presuming that this is a period of weeks rather than months).  You can argue that this constitutes ‘fresh additional grounds' since the previous bail application.In such a case, it is important to request disclosure from the UKBA as you will need to obtain proof of the delays and problems.  If you do not make enquiries, it is likely that the UKBA will not disclose fully what is happening on your client's case and you will have greater difficulty in obtaining your client's release.

At a certain point, the length of detention without progress on the case is itself a reason for release, even for a client with a poor immigration history.  

Helpline for detainees

Tel: 020 7456 9750
Fax: 020 3745 5226

Helpline open Monday to Thursday between 10am and 12 midday


020 7456 9762 (Monday to Friday)
Please note, it is not possible to get information or advice via this number.

Crafted by Tincan