The United Kingdom Border Agency is withdrawing DP5/96, a concession which has also been referred to as the seven year child concession, as of 9 December 2008. The concession set out the criteria to be applied when considering whether enforcement action should proceed or be initiated against parents of a child who was born here and has lived continuously to the age of seven or over, or where, having come to the UK at an early age, they have accumulated seven years or more continuous residence. The original purpose and need for the concession has been overtaken by the Human Rights Act and changes to immigration rules. The fact that a child has spent a significant period of their life in the United Kingdom will continue to be an important relevant factor to be taken into account by case workers when evaluating whether removal of their parents is appropriate. Any decision to remove a family from the UK will continue to be made in accordance with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Immigration Rules.
The withdrawal of DP5/96 and replacing it with consideration under the Immigration Rules and article 8 of the ECHR will ensure a fairer, more consistent approach to all cases involving children, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, across UKBA. Withdrawing the policy will also prevent those overstaying or unlawfully present in the UK having the benefit of a concession which does not apply to those persons who comply with the Immigration Rules and remain in the UK lawfully.