New UK Data Protection Rules And Their Effect On Immigrants

08 Feb 2018, 35 mins ago

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018, in what has been described as one of the biggest modernisations of data protection law anywhere in the world. The GDPR seeks to create a consistent set of data protection rules across the entire European Union, including the UK, where the regulation will be implemented through a new Data Protection Bill in order to preserve the GDPR post-Brexit.

Schedule 2, paragraph 4 of the Bill sets out exemptions from the GDPR with regards to immigration law. The inclusion of the immigration law exemption means that non-nationals subject to an immigration procedure will lose the right to access data held about them. In turn, this will inevitably lose them to opportunity to rectify or delete errors in Home Office records or uncover data that has been unlawfully collected. This new law will affect individuals who are not UK nationals, including EEA and EU nationals who are resident in the UK.

In practical terms, this will make it very difficult, or even virtually impossible, for individuals involved in immigration disputes to obtain copies of their personal data from the Home Office.

It has been argued that the new clause creates a lack of adequate protection of the data protection rights of non-nationals in the UK. This in turn may be damaging to UK interests because if the UK loses its adequacy arrangement with the EU, after Brexit, it would also lose free access to data from nations such as the US. Furthermore, some argue that the clause will create new discriminatory immigration restrictions by way of removing a transparent implementation of data protection rules in the UK.

On the other hand, the MPs who advocate a ‘hard Brexit’ argue that the key reason for leaving the EU was the desire to reduce immigration to the UK and therefore welcome the new rules.

Gherson has an experienced staff that specialises in assisting with visas in all immigration categories. We have over  30 years of experience in EU and non-EU immigration advice and that is why we are widely regarded as one of the leading firms in immigration.

Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2018