Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 15)

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 of people granted
humanitarian protection; and to provide for legal aid to be made available in
such cases.

B e 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 Refugee family reunion

(1) The Secretary of State must, within 6 months of this section coming into force,
lay before Parliament a statement of changes in the rules (the “immigration
rules”) under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971 (general provisions for
5regulation and control) to make provision for refugee family reunion, in
accordance with this section, to come into effect after 21 days.

(2) Before a statement of changes is laid under subsection (1), the Secretary of State
must consult with persons he or she deems appropriate.

(3) The statement laid under subsection (1) must set out rules providing for leave
10to enter and remain in the United Kingdom for family members of a person
granted refugee status or humanitarian protection.

(4) In this section, “refugee status” and “humanitarian protection” have the same
meaning as in the immigration rules.

(5) In this section, “family members” include a person’s—

(a) 15parent, including adoptive parent;

(b) spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner;

(c) child, including adopted child, who is either—

(i) under the age of 18, or

(ii) under the age of 25 but was either under the age of 18 or
20unmarried at the time the person granted asylum left their
country of residence to seek asylum;

(d) sibling, including adoptive sibling, who is either—

Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL] Page 2

(i) under the age of 18, or

(ii) under the age of 25, but was either under the age of 18 or
unmarried at the time the person granted asylum left their
country of residence to seek asylum; and

(e) 5such other persons as the Secretary of State may determine, having
regard to—

(i) the importance of maintaining family unity,

(ii) the best interests of a child,

(iii) the physical, emotional, psychological or financial dependency
10between a person granted refugee status or humanitarian
protection and another person,

(iv) any risk to the physical, emotional or psychological wellbeing
of a person who was granted refugee status or humanitarian
protection, including from the circumstances in which the
15person is living in the United Kingdom, or

(v) such other matters as the Secretary of State considers
appropriate.

(6) For the purpose of subsection (4)

(a) “adopted” and “adoptive” refer to a relationship resulting from
20adoption, including de facto adoption, as set out in the immigration
rules;

(b) “best interests” of a child shall be read in accordance with Article 3 of
the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2 Legal aid

25In Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act
2012 (civil legal services), after paragraph 30 (immigration: rights to enter and
remain) insert—

30A Refugee family reunion

Civil legal services provided in relation to an application for leave to
30enter or remain on the basis of rules laid down by the Secretary of State
under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971 for the purposes of
refugee family reunion as set out in section 1 of the Refugees (Family
Reunion) Act 2020.”

3 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) 35Section 1 and this section extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern
Ireland.

(2) Section 2 extends to England and Wales only.

(3) Section 1 and this section come into force on the day on which this Act is
passed.

(4) 40Section 2 comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning
with the day on which this Act is passed.

(5) This Act may be cited as the Refugees (Family Reunion) Act 2020.