2.5 Data Protection

Advisers have a duty to safeguard and ensure the security of their client’s information. This is done by organisations having systems and policies in place to limit access to client’s information and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

  • You are required under OISC regulations to keep all records copies of correspondence, application forms and other documents relating to the client’s case for at least six years following the conclusion of the case/application.

  • After a six-year period, there is a need to destroy all physical records and delete all electronic records unless you are satisfied that there is a good reason for retaining them.

  • You must act in accordance with UK data protection legislation to ensure that the client’s personal information is:

    • Processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner;

    • Used only for limited, specified stated purposes and not used or disclosed in any way incompatible with those purposes;

    • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary;

    • Accurate and, where necessary, up-to-date.

    • Not kept for longer than necessary; and

    • Kept safe and secure.

  • You must not pass personal information to external organisations except:

    • Where we have your written consent

    • Where we are doing so in the course of providing immigration services

    • Where we are required to do so by law

    • Where we believe you or others may be in danger

  • You must always be mindful that under the Data Protection Act 2018, the client has a right to;

    • Be informed about how their data is being used

    • Access their personal data

    • Have incorrect data updated

    • Have their data erased.

    • Stop or restrict the processing of their data

    • Object to how their data is processed in certain circumstances

  • Disclosure of family court documents

    • Note that any documents prepared for the purposes of or any information relating to family proceedings relating to children is strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed to another party without committing contempt of court.

    • If a person wants to rely on papers from family proceedings in an immigration case, for example, to prove family life, to show the progress of proceedings or for any other reason, they will need to get a court order from the family court for disclosure. This includes where the family proceedings have been concluded.

    • Nasrullah Mursalin, Re [2019] EWCA Civ 1559 (03 September 2019) (bailii.org)- this now infamous case, serves as an unpleasant reminder of your duty not to disclose information with express consent from the client and the family courts

Webpage: The Data Protection Act 2018 (GOV.UK)

An Act to make provision for the regulation of the processing of information relating to individuals.

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