Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill (HL Bill 12)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to be
granted to the family members of refugees and to refugees who are family
members of British citizens and settled persons; to provide for legal aid to be
available for refugee family reunion cases; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Family reunion: refugees

(1) An individual granted refugee status or humanitarian protection under the
Immigration Rules in the United Kingdom may make an application for
permission for one or more family members to be granted leave to enter or
5remain in the United Kingdom.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a family member in relation to the applicant
means—

(a) their spouse;

(b) their civil or unmarried partner;

(c) 10their child under the age of 18;

(d) their grandchild under the age of 18;

(e) their unmarried child aged 18 or over;

(f) their parent;

(g) their sibling under the age of 18;

(h) 15their niece or nephew under the age of 18; or

(i) any dependent relative not otherwise listed in this subsection.

(3) In the case of an applicant who is under the age of 18 and neither of whose
parents is known to be alive or able to reach the United Kingdom, a family
member also means an aunt or uncle.

(4) 20For the purposes of this section, a family member can be a relative of full blood
or half blood.

Refugees (Family Reunion) BillPage 2

(5) The application must be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that it
is in the interest of national security to refuse it.

2 Family reunion: British citizens and other settled persons

(1) A British citizen or any person otherwise settled in the United Kingdom may
5make an application for permission for one or more family members to be
granted leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.

(2) An application under subsection (1) can only be made if the family member is
registered with the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees or
with an internationally recognised authority responsible for the protection of
10refugees in the place in which the family member is present.

(3) For the purposes of this section a family member in relation to the applicant
means—

(a) their spouse;

(b) their civil or unmarried partner;

(c) 15their child under the age of 18;

(d) their grandchild under the age of 18;

(e) their unmarried child aged 18 or over;

(f) their parent; or

(g) any dependent relative not otherwise listed in this subsection.

(4) 20In the case of an applicant who is under the age of 18 and neither of whose
parents is known to be alive or able to reach the United Kingdom, a family
member also means an aunt or uncle.

(5) For the purposes of this section, a family member can be a relative of full blood
or half blood.

(6) 25The application must be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that it
is in the interest of national security to refuse it.

3 Supplementary provisions

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument—

(a) amend sections 1 and 2 to extend the definition of a family member,
30and

(b) provide for requirements for evidencing family membership or
dependency.

(2) The Secretary of State must, following consultation with such persons as he or
she considers appropriate, issue guidance as to the application of this Act.

(3) 35Regulations under this section may not be made unless a draft of the
instrument has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of
Parliament.

4 Legal aid for family reunion applications

(1) Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
40(civil legal services) is amended as follows.

Refugees (Family Reunion) BillPage 3

(2) After paragraph 30 (immigration: right to enter and remain) insert—

30A Refugee family reunion

Civil legal services provided in relation to an application under section
1 or section 2 of the Refugees (Family Reunion) Act 2017.”

5 5Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) This Act may come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by
regulations made by statutory instrument appoint.

(3) Regulations under this section may appoint different days for different
10purposes.

(4) This Act may be cited as the Refugees (Family Reunion) Act 2017.