Understanding Re-Entry Bans


The Home Office can impose entry bans to individuals who have previously breached immigration law or used deception in their applications for leave. Bans can last 1 year, 2 years, 5 years or 10 years.




Generally speaking, and except for some minor exception, an individual will not be allowed to re-enter the UK during the length of the ban. Tough penalties for employers and employees who breach the immigration rules are of a recurring theme in this Immigration Special.


When does the ban period start?


The ban period will start on the date an individual left UK or, if there in the case of a 10 year ban following the use of deception in an application, from the date of the refusal of that application.


When do re-entry bans not apply?


Re-entry bans do not apply to applications made under:


  • Appendix FM (Immigration Rule A320)
  • Appendix Armed Forces (Immigration Rule B320)

EEA Regulations, namely applications for a European Family Permit




Who’s banned?


Examples of individuals facing a re-entry ban include:


  • Former students who work more than their permitted 20 hours per week in term time
  • Working holidaymakers who exceeded their permitted 12 months in work
  • Business visitors who cross the line from business to productive work
  • Anyone who overstayed their immigration permission by more than 28 days
  • Anyone who used false documents or representations in an immigration application, or withheld material facts




Employers could therefore find that an employee on whose skill they intended to rely is locked out of the UK for at least a year – and, in the worst case, for ten years.  Vigilance – appropriately exercised – is needed to ensure that current employees are not in breach, and new hires are kept within the rules. 


How will the ban be imposed?


An applicant for an entry clearance visa will be mandatorily refused if they have used deception in an entry clearance application within the previous ten years. 


Why is this particularly relevant to employers?


Although the employee faces the ban, there are obvious consequences for UK employers who were relying on that person, and for the person’s ability to perform duties under their contracts of employment. 




Beyond this however, the circumstances of the breach may have wider implications for a UK employer. 


Can entry clearance be granted despite a re-entry ban?


Yes. Firstly, and as explained above, the re-entry ban periods do not apply to applications under Appendix FM, Appendix Armed Forces or the EEA Regulations.


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