If you have made an immigration application or have claimed asylum you may have to report (sign) at the Home Office at a specified time each week, two weeks, or month or sometimes less regularly than this.

If you are asked to report, this is usually at the nearest immigration office to you – either a branch of the Home Office, or an immigration desk at a nearby police station. At these appointments, you may just be asked to sign your name. Sometimes, the immigration officer may ask you questions. Although the appointment might only last a matter of minutes, you are also at risk of being detained at one of these appointments.

Why do we have to report?

Immigration laws mean that the Home Office must apply at least one kind of “restriction” on your life in the UK, until your case is concluded. If you break any of these restrictions, it can be used against you in your legal case.

These restrictions, known as a “condition” might include being banned from working or studying, or having to live at a set address. The most common condition is being made to report at a Home office Reporting Centre on a regular basis.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting requirements have been paused for many people and largely reduced for others. Now that the lockdown measures are relaxing, the Home Office is starting to ask people to report again.

You might be able to have your reporting condition changed – or even stopped

If you already have a reporting condition, you know all about reporting, or “signing”, at the Home Office. It’s not nice. But many people have found that they can have their reporting condition changed, or even removed.

Home Office rules state that any reporting condition imposed must be appropriate according to each person’s circumstances. Also, the Home Office does not have to impose a reporting condition – there are other options available, particularly if a reporting condition is not appropriate.

Challenging your reporting condition

Migrants Organise have produced a checklist to help you see if your reporting requirements are appropriate to your situation. If the requirements aren’t appropriate, you may be able to challenge them.

They have also produced a longer guide for advisers/caseworkers who are supporting people with reporting requirements.

Worried about detention?

It’s important that you are prepared in case the Home Office use a reporting event as an opportunity to try and detain you. You can read about how to be prepared in case of this happening, and how to get people to support you when you report in the Right to Remain Toolkit: a guide to the asylum and immigration system.