§ Lord Dholakia
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What statutory provisions contain the current rules barring offenders who have served prison sentences of over 12 months from entering the United Kingdom and the making of exceptions to these rules; and [HL1256]
Whether outside organisations with an interest in the resettlement of offenders will be consulted in the course of the review of the rules barring ex-prisoners from entering the United Kingdom to work; and whether a public consultation document will be issued before final decisions are taken. [HL1257]
§ Lord Bassam of Brighton
The rules regulating the entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of foreign nationals subject to immigration control are laid down by the Secretary of State for the Home Department under Section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971.
Paragraph 320(18) of the Immigration Rules (HC 395) provides, inter alia, that, where a person has been convicted of a criminal offence outside the United Kingdom which would have been punishable 145WA with imprisonment of 12 months or more if the conduct concerned had occurred in the United Kingdom, refusal of leave to enter or an entry clearance should normally follow unless admission is justified for strong compassionate reasons or other exceptional circumstances justifying the exercise of discretion. If a person's conviction is spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, the provisions of paragraph 320(18) do not apply. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is reviewing the operation of the rules and practice relating to admission of persons with previous convictions, but he presently does not think it will be necessary to consult organisations of the kind referred to in the light of the effect of the 1974 Act. He will report the outcome of this review to Parliament when it is completed.