Immigration Officers are to get access to
Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise
tax and VAT records as part of a new package of powers to protect UK borders
Home Secretary John Reid announced the move in his
Borders Bill published on Friday.
The bill will equip a new, revamped Border and Immigration Agency with a wide
range of new powers to deter, detect and deport those breaking the rules and
ensure that those foreign nationals legally in the UK play their part in
upholding the rules.
They will include new powers of entry, search and seizure and the ability to
access HMRC data to track down illegal immigrants.
Foreign nationals benefiting from living in the UK will face additional
obligations, including having to apply for a ‘biometric immigration document’,
which will be compulsory biometric ID for those living in the UK from outside
the EEA helping tackle fraud, illegal working and multiple identities.
Failure to do so will put the person at risk of losing their leave to remain
in the UK and/or a civil penalty of up to £1,000.
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