Immigration Act 1971

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Immigration Act 1971[1]
Long title An Act to amend and replace the present immigration laws, to make certain related changes in the citizenship law and enable help to be given to those wishing to return abroad, and for purposes connected therewith.
Citation 1971 c. 77
Royal assent 28 October 2971
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Immigration Act 1971 (c 77) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom concerning immigration. The Act, as with the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, and that of 1968, restricts immigration, especially primary immigration into the UK. It introduced the concept of patriality or right of abode. It is connected in relation to deportation notices, at sections 11 and 23 of the Terrorism Act 2000.


Williams argues that foreign-policy pressures led Edward Heath's Conservative government to adopt discriminatory Commonwealth immigration policy, breaking from the non-discriminatory immigration policy that had preceded it. London saw a need to appease Canada, New Zealand and Australia over the negative impact on them of Britain's joining the European Economic Community. The negative impact would be hardest on people who had immigrated from Britain originally in the expectation of continued close ties.[2]

One result of the Act was to stop the permanent migration of workers from the Commonwealth. It further elaborated the definition of "patrial" migrants, first introduced in the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968, as persons born in the United Kingdom, and persons who had resided there for the previous five years or longer.[3]


  • Part I Regulation of Entry into and Stay in United Kingdom
  • Part II Appeals
  • Part III Criminal Proceedings
  • Part IV Supplementary
  • Schedule 1
  • Schedule 2 Administrative Provisions as to Control on Entry etc.
  • Schedule 3 Supplementary Provisions as to Deportation
  • Schedule 4 Integration with United Kingdom Law of Immigration Law of Islands
  • Schedule 5 The Adjudicators and the Tribunal
  • Schedule 6 Repeals

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Short title as conferred by s. 37 of the Act
  2. ^ Callum Williams, "Patriality, Work Permits and the European Economic Community: The Introduction of the 1971 Immigration Act." Contemporary British History 29.4 (2015): 508–538.
  3. ^ Marmo, Marinella; Smith, Evan (17 January 2014). "The Myth of Sovereignty: British Immigration Control Policy and Practice in the 1970s". Historical Research. 87 (236): 344–369. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • J. M. Evans (1972). "Immigration Act 1971". The Modern Law Review. 35 (5): 508. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.1972.tb02363.x. JSTOR 1094478. 
  • Williams, Callum. "Patriality, Work Permits and the European Economic Community: The Introduction of the 1971 Immigration Act." Contemporary British History (2015) 29#4 pp 508-538.