- The proposal is one of several in the long-awaited Immigration Bill
- Driving licence applicants would have to prove they were in Britain legally
- Ministers say the law would stop illegal immigrants using public services
- It may also discourage them from coming to Britain in the first place
By Jack Doyle
Banks could be forced to carry out background checks to stop illegal immigrants opening accounts.
The proposal one of several in the long-awaited Immigration Bill would force managers to check potential customers against a database of foreigners known to be in the country illegally.
Applicants for a driving licence would also have to prove they were in Britain legally. Those who are unable to do so would be turned down.
The proposal would force bank managers to check potential customers against a database of foreigners known to be in the country illegally
Ministers said the law would stop illegal immigrants using public services and discourage them from coming to Britain in the first place.
The stricter rules follow elements of the Bill already announced, such as requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants.
Tough: Home Secretary Theresa May will push ahead with plans to 'deport first and hear an appeal later'
Temporary migrants, such as foreign students, would also have to make a contribution to the NHS before they could use GP and hospital services, following concerns about the cost of health tourism to the taxpayer.
However, ministers are thought to have dropped a proposal to make GPs check the immigration status of new patients.
Home Secretary Theresa May will push ahead with plans to 'deport first and hear an appeal later' in cases involving foreign criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants.
The shake-up of immigration law will let the Government remove dangerous migrants from the country while their cases proceed instead of having to let them remain in Britain for years during their appeal.
In addition, the list of grounds for appeal will be slashed from 17 to just four.
This is a response to the debacle of the deportation of Abu Qatada, who was flown home to Jordan in July after a 12-year legal battle.
It is expected to cut the 68,000 cases lodged against the Government every year by more than half.
The Bill will also:
- Limit the use of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights the right to a private and family life by illegal immigrants and criminals trying to stay in the UK,
- Restrict the right of immigration detainees behind bars to apply repeatedly for bail,
- Extend the notification period for a wedding to 28 days from 15 to crack down on sham marriages.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: 'The Bill will stop migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the factors which encourage people to come to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.
'We welcome the brightest and best migrants who want to contribute to our economy and society.
'Hard-working people deserve an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system and flout the law.'
Net migration has been cut by a third since 2010 but ministers fear a voter backlash if thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians come to Britain when border controls end in 2014.