Document fraud in the UK, specifically false identity documents and those related to the illegal crossing of borders, can have severe penalties as per the law. Despite the risks, several thousands of people present false documents to the Border Force every year in an attempt to enter the United Kingdom illegally. If you or someone you know has been caught or convicted of such a crime, you should note that you have some options to help fight your case through proper legal representation. Thus, this article discusses what is considered false documents as per UK law and highlights the need to seek legal help quickly.

Document Fraud in the UK

Document fraud is the process of presenting false documentation with incorrect information to any governmental body in the UK (in the context of our discussion).

The Home Office defines a false document in the Immigration Rules, paragraph 6. Therefore, it includes documents that are

  • Tampered with or altered
  • Counterfeited
  • Used by someone who is not who they claim they are (i.e., an imposter)
  • Issued or obtained fraudulently
  • Used for visa or entry clearance based on counterfeit or falsified information

It’s also possible that you are unaware that your documentation is falsified—you could still face legal repercussions as a result. Therefore, it is pertinent that you ensure that all documentation (especially that has to do with your identity) is overseen by a solicitor to ensure complete accuracy, particularly if you believe that there may be room for falsified information.

What Happens to People with Falsified Documentation?

The severity of a case can dictate the penalties someone has to face when caught with false documentation. Border Force may charge such cases as potential criminal cases. Thus, those people who possess false documents without any reasonable excuse could face up to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment. On the other hand, those who have false documentation to use for improper intentions, then they may be charged with imprisonment of up to 10 years.

These penalties are based on Section 6 of the Identity Documents Act 2010.

It is important to note that the number of prosecutions and convictions of such charges has reduced in the last decade (between 2010 to 2020). Nevertheless, such cases still occur, and the penalties can be grave for many perpetrators.

Last Few Words

As discussed above, Document fraud in the UK is a serious issue that can change your life for the worse. If you or your loved ones are ever caught with false documentation, it’s paramount that you hire trained UK immigration solicitors to help with your case. They can help develop a defence strategy that can prevent you or your loved ones from paying terrible prices now and in the future.