Bail accommodation

Part of the bail application form

Since January 2018, people held in immigration detention centres have no longer been able to apply for “Section 4” accommodation to be bailed (released) to.  This accommodation was named after Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which provided a form of support to refused asylum seekers and also accommodation for people applying to be released from detention if this accommodation was necessary to avoid breaching their human rights.

The 2016 Immigration Act repealed this accommodation (with a provision brought in in January 2018), but provided the power for the Home Office to provide accommodation if the person would be deprived of liberty otherwise.  To get this, you would need to show that you meet “exceptional circumstances” criteria.

As yet, the Home Office have not established a formal system for applying for exceptional circumstances accommodation.  You will need to try and show that you meet the test for exceptional circumstances accommodation when you apply for bail from the Home Office or the Tribunal.

The organisation BID have a useful self-help handbook for people trying to apply for bail for themselves.  In this, they explain that you need to show:

  • You do not have any friends, family, people in the community, charities or other organisations who can accommodate you if you are released on bail
  • You have no other way of finding accommodation
  • You will have nowhere to live and you will have no way to support yourself if you are released
  • You will be forced to live on the streets and this will be inhuman treatment (and therefore a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights)

BID also point out that it’s important that the information you argue to support the points above doesn’t contradict what you have said in your immigration case (for example, if you have said you have friends and family in the UK).

Read the BID bail guidebook here.Find organisations assisting people in detention here.

In these circumstances, being able to provide someone with an address to be bailed to is more important than ever.  Read more in our Toolkit here.

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