Deportation is defined as the removal of a person or group of people from a country and is a reality that is faced by many in the diaspora, however the processes and the rules that govern deportation are a mystery to most. The following outlines the rules of deportation for the United Kingdom and the United States.




Quick Facts on Deportation

  • The deportation of persons from the United Kingdom (UK) is governed under the 1971 Immigration Act.
  • A deportation order usually arises out of a decision which is personally endorsed by the Home Secretary to deport someone from the UK.
  • The issuance of a deportation order is usually in response to a recommendation from a court following a conviction of the person or it is made on public security grounds
  • The deportation order normally authorizes that the person be detained until they are removed
  • The deportation order will also prohibit that person from re-entering the country for as long as it is in force.
  • Deportation orders will invalidate any leave to enter or remain in the UK that had been given before the order was made or while it is in force.


Under What Circumstances Can Someone Be Deported?

  • Where the secretary of state deems the person's deportation to be in the public interest
  • Spouses or civil partners or child under 18 years of a person who is ordered to be deported
  • Where a court recommends deportation in the case of a person over the age of 17 years who has been convicted of an offence which is punishable with imprisonment


How Will a Deportee’s Family Be Affected?

The UK Immigration Act allows for a deportation order against the spouse, civil partner or child of a person against whom a deportation order has been made.

However there are circumstances where this can be avoided, such as:

  • If the spouse has qualified for settlement in his or her own right
  • If the spouse is separated from the deportee or the relationship has ended
  • If the child of the deportees has been living with the other parent apart fro the deportee
  • If the child has left home and is living independently
  • If the child is now married or formed a civil partnership before deportation ever came into question.


Detention and Deportation

The secretary of state in the UK may authorise detention or make an order restricting the person as to residence, employment and/or occupation.

The secretary of state may also require the person to report to the police, pending the making of the deportation order.


Revocation of a Deportation Order

Who can qualify for the revocation of a deportation order?

'Returned Family Members' which are persons who were deported as a result of another person such as a spouse, civil partner or child, may seek readmission to the United Kingdom if their circumstances have changed. The circumstances that may work in such a person's favour is if the child reaches 18 years of age; or in the case of a spouse or partner, if the marriage of civil partnership comes to an end.

Persons can also make an application for the revocation of a deportation order for a number of reasons, including if 10 years have elapsed since the making of the deportation order, or any other period that may have been ordered and if a refusal to revoke would be contrary to the human rights Convention or the Convention and Protocol relating to the status of refugees.



Deportation is defined by the as the formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws.

Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge without any punishment being imposed or contemplated.

Prior to April 1997, deportation and exclusion were separate removal procedures. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 consolidated these procedures.


False Documents and Deportation

  • When a person enters the US without being inspected and is present in the US, he/she is present illegally and can be placed in removal/deportation proceedings.
  • If you enter the US with false documents, you commit immigration fraud and can be removed/deported for this violation
  • You can also be denied entry into the US at a future date because of this fraud.
  • If the false documents that you used were US documents, e.g. a US birth certificate, you would be charged with false claim to US citizenship and be permanently ineligible for any US immigration benefits, unless you can prove that you honestly believed that you were a US citizen.
  • Charges of immigration fraud will remain on your record.
  • Immigration fraud and misrepresentation never goes away and will always present a barrier to admission to the US.


On What Grounds Can One Be Deemed Inadmissible To The United States?

Medical Grounds

Criminal Grounds

Security and related grounds

Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violators


Who else is inadmissible? Check the list


The Deportation Process for US Immigrants

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that handles matters related to immigration to the United States and establishes and administers all immigration and naturalization functions, including policies and benefits. The UCCIS begins the deportation process.

Then, an Immigration Court within the U.S. Department of Justice hears the related case. If the judge rules that the deportation proceed, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carries out the removal order.


The Deportation Process: Step-by-Step



The deportation process, often more formally called “removal proceedings,” begins with the arrival of a letter from the Department of Homeland Security. The letter is a Notice to Appear.

What is in the Notice to Appear? 


Step 2

Attending the removal hearing on the date specified on the Notice to Appear is the next step in the deportation process, and a crucial step at that.

At the removal hearing, the immigration judge determines whether or not the immigrant is eligible to be removed from the United States and if the immigrant is eligible for relief from removal.


Step 3

If the immigrant is in any way eligible for relief from removal, he or she is allowed to apply to extend his or her stay in the United States.


Step 4

If the immigrant is not eligible, her departure date from the US is set.


Relief From Removal or Deportation

There are several types of relief from removal, with three being the most common. An immigration lawyer — the best resource to have at a removal hearing — can help the immigrant choose the type of removal relief he or she may be eligible for.

The three most common types of relief are:


Adjustment of Status 

Adjustment of status occurs when an immigrant files for lawful permanent residency.



Asylum is granted to immigrants who cannot return to their home country because of past persecution or a great threat of persecution in the future based on race, nationality, religion or political opinion.


Cancellation of Removal 

Cancellation of removal occurs when the immigration judge halts the deportation process. Green card holders are eligible for cancellation of removal if they have been in the country legally for seven years and have a clean record.


Learn more about these types of relief at this link.


A Note on Asylum Fraud

The process for the granting of asylum is fraught with loopholes that are prone to fraud. Applicants who are successful are given permission to live and work in the US and may bring their spouses and children to the US and may eventually apply for a green card and citizenship. These high stakes has given rise to an underground industry has sprung up to help asylum applicants lie on their applications in the hope that it may improve their chances of being awarded asylum.

Immigrants have only one chance to apply for asylum, so if they fail to convince the immigration judge of their credibility will forfeit any future chance of claiming asylum in the US, and they may be placed in removal proceedings or deported.

If an applicant is found to have committed fraud in obtaining any immigration benefits, he can be barred from the US for life.


Learn the risks associated with asylum fraud here.


How to Choose an Immigration Lawyer in the US

When retaining the services of a lawyer in the US for an immigration case, potential clients are urged to do due diligence to ensure that they attorney they select is lawfully permitted to represent them.

Immigration law in the United States is within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. As a result, potential clients should consider federal statutes and regulations of the federal agencies responsible for the administration of immigration law.

Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations, also known as "8 CFR", specifically describes who may represent clients in immigration matters before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and United States Customs & Border Protection.


Retrieving Passports After Being Deported

Persons who are 'sent home' are required to hand over their passports to immigration authorities in the deporting countries to confirm nationalities.

The passports of deported persons are sent to the Jamaican mission (embassy, high commission or consulate) before being sent to Passport Immigration Citizenship Agency (PICA).

The agency currently has hundreds of passports which have been returned from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Deported persons are encouraged to visit or call the PICA office to ascertain if their passports are with the agency before applying for a new one.

If the passport has expired during the period, the owner can apply for a new one.

If the passport has not been returned to Jamaica, the passport holder will be allowed to apply for a new one.

In completing the application for a new passport, the applicant must indicate that they had been previously issued with a passport.




Immigration Rules Part 13 Deportation, Home Office UK Border Agency

Deportation.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services


How to Choose A US Lawyer. Chang & Boos’ Canada-US Immigration Law Centre

U.S. Immigration Handbook

The Deportation Process for US Immigrants.  Legal Laguage Services


Gleaner resources

Explaining deportation

Revocation of a deportation order

Retrieving passports after being deported

Haunted by my deportation