Intermediate: Immigration offences and civil penalties: 2 CPD

About this course

This course was last updated in March 2021.

The statute book is crammed full of criminal offences relating to borders and immigration control, from illegal entry to renting property to an unauthorised migrant. Most are rarely prosecuted, but it’s still worth being aware of the main criminal offences in this area, as well as the fines that landlords, employers and transport companies can (and do) face.

In the first two modules of this course we break down the various immigration criminal offences into migration offences and immigration control offences. Migration offences can only be committed by migrants themselves: British citizens cannot commit an act of illegal entry, for example. Immigration control offences can be committed by anyone. A migrant or British citizen can commit an offence of evading immigration control, obstructing an immigration officer or trafficking a migrant, for example.

In the final module we look at civil penalties. Civil penalties are a financial sanction — a fine, in other words — levied under civil rather than criminal law as a means of punishing breaches of immigration law. Although civil penalties don’t attract custodial sentences, the sums involved can be extremely high.

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You can check out the course contents below:

For developments since this course was last updated, check Free Movement articles tagged “criminal offences”.

Modules within this course

  1. Criminal offences by migrants

    This module examines the various criminal offences that might be committed by a migrant on entry to the UK or within the UK.

  2. Immigration control offences

    There are a range of laws which forbid assisting migrants with breaches of immigration control, for example by assisting with a sham marriage, assisting unlawful immigration or employing or renting to an unauthorised migrant.

  3. Civil penalties

    As well as criminal sanctions there are various civil penalties that can be imposed on carriers, employers and landlords for failure to conduct immigration checks in certain circumstances.