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Immigration: Removals

Volume 696: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements are in place to ensure that those people found to be in the United Kingdom illegally and who are taken straight to police custody and thence to a port of embarkation in order to be removed from the United Kingdom are enabled to take their personal possessions with them. [HL277]

If someone is arrested in their home they are given sufficient time to pack a reasonable amount of luggage (determined by baggage flight allowances). If someone is arrested outside their home it is the responsibility of the local enforcement office to liaise with the departure port regarding arrangements for baggage delivery. Normally a minimum of 72 hours (including at least two working days) must be allowed between notification of removal directions to the person being removed and the removal itself. Immigration officers are instructed that although adequate time should be allowed for a person to obtain his baggage, not to delay removal unduly because of this.

Guidance on the retrieval of personal effects is available in the operational enforcement manual, a copy of which is available in the House Library and on the Border and Immigration Agency website at