Guidance Note

Relevant Legislation   

Immigration Act 1971 (as amended by Section 8 of Immigration and Asylum Act 1999)1 Immigration (Designation of Travel Bans) Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/2724) The Immigration (Designation Of Travel Bans) (Amendment) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/3052)

Background 1. The United Nations and European Union member states agree and impose, inter alia, travel bans restricting the movement of individuals between member countries. The individuals restricted in this way are typically associated with regimes deemed not to adhere to international standards or groups which are proscribed by the UN/EU. The United Nations’ Security Council will agree a UN Resolution; and the EU, an instrument of the Council of the European Union to this effect. Both require Member States of the UN or the EU to implement necessary measures restricting those individuals entry to or transit through their territory except in very limited circumstances.



Giving effect to International Travel Bans 4. Section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971 (as inserted by Section 8 of Immigration and Asylum Act 1999) provides for the exclusion from the United Kingdom of individuals named under international obligations. Such international obligations are given effect domestically by designation pursuant to Statutory Order under s.8B(5) of the 1971 Act. The Secretary of State designates an instrument if it is a resolution of the Security Council of the UN or an instrument made by the Council of the European Union2 and it requires or recommends a person is not admitted to the UK.


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Section 8B, Immigration Act 1971. Other international travel restrictions, such as Commonwealth restrictions, cannot be designated in this way.


Guidance Note 6. The Immigration (Designation of Travel Bans) Order 2000 (“the 2000 Order”) is made pursuant to Section 8B(7) of the Immigration Act 1971 and came into force on 10th October 2000. The Schedule to the 2000 Order (as amended) lists those extant international instruments naming individuals who are to be denied entry or transit through the UK on the basis of the travel ban. The Schedule is updated annually in order to take account of changes to the various travel restrictions, including the lists of designated persons. 3


Effect of Designation 8. The effect of designating instruments imposing international travel bans in an Order under section 8B of the 1971 Act is that, unless one of the exemptions set out in Article 3 of the 2000 Order applies, a person named by or described in a designated travel ban is an excluded person and must be refused leave to enter or remain in the UK, including transit through the UK. Any existing leave is automatically cancelled, and any exemption from immigration control e.g. as a diplomat, ceases.


Refugee and ECHR exemptions 10. The 2000 Order provides exemptions to ensure that the cancellation or refusal of leave would not apply in any case where their effect would be contrary to the UK’s Refugee and ECHR Convention obligations.



In addition, provisions in the Immigration Rules enable a person not yet designated under the 2000 Order to be refused entry to the UK, or to have their visa revoked, on the basis that his exclusion from the UK is conducive to the public good.


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