SEFTON LSCB Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Online Manual

    Next steps for the Competent Authority if the Conclusive Grounds decision is positive

    Last updated 18/05/2017

    Actions for Home Office and UKHTC if the Conclusive Grounds decision is positive

    Action 1: record the decision
    Update CID with either ‘VOT DL granted’ (in cases where the Victim of Trafficking (VOT) is assisting police, ‘VOT DL granted (personal circumstances)’ or ‘VOT no leave to be granted’. (Home Office action only)

    The Competent Authority must draft a minute explaining the reasons for the positive conclusive grounds decision and keep it on file.

    They must not send the minute of reasons to the victim.

    In Scotland and Northern Ireland the decision minute must clearly indicate that the outcome being made in the case is ‘recognised as a victim of human trafficking’.

    In England and Wales the decision minute should clearly indicate which of the 2 outcomes are being made on the case, either:

    • recognised as a victim of modern slavery (human trafficking).
    • recognised as a victim of modern slavery (slavery, servitude or forced and compulsory labour)

    Complete the decision letter.

    The Home Office and UKHTC use the same decisions letters: NRM 07

    Action 2: notify the victim of the decision
    Issue the decision letter NRM 07 to the adult victim concerned or through their appointed representative, where applicable (or Local Authority in the case of a child victim).

    The Competent Authority must not serve a decision letter or other human trafficking or modern slavery papers on a child under any circumstances. All human trafficking or modern slavery papers must be served on the child’s appointed representative or the Local Authority.

    Action 3: notify agencies of the decision
    The Competent Authority must notify the following of their decision using NRM 05:

    • the first responder (all cases)
    • support provider (all supported adult cases and family cases) and the Salvation Army if supported in England and Wales), the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance or Migrant Help if the adult is being supported in Scotland or Migrant Help or Women’s Aid if the adult is being supported in Northern Ireland)
    • the Local Authority (in the case of children) where the relevant NRM 03 letter is used instead)

    If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they should also notify the UK Human Trafficking Centre of their decision in all cases using UKBA NRM 09 (ICD.4460 on CID Doc Gen). (Home Office action only)

    Action 4: notify agencies of the decision where there are criminal proceedings
    If the potential victim is the subject of criminal proceedings several agencies need to be notified as soon as the conclusive grounds decision is positive.

    The Competent Authority must ensure that the police (National Human Trafficking Unit in Scotland) are notified of the positive reasonable grounds decision as soon as they make it.

    The Competent Authority must use notification letter UKBA NRM 05 for the police or contact them by email or telephone as appropriate.

    Generally the Competent Authority must ask the police to notify prosecutors (the Crown Prosecution Service (or the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service in Scotland or Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland) of the positive reasonable grounds decision as soon as they make it.

    Home Office Competent Authority next steps for live immigration cases following a positive Conclusive Grounds decision

    If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they will need to consider additional next steps in live immigration cases once a conclusive grounds decision has been taken.

    This section does not apply to UKHTC. Pilot panel decisions with live immigration issues will need to be referred to the Home Office to take appropriate immigration steps.

    Action 5: make a decision on any outstanding asylum claim
    Many victims of human trafficking or modern slavery also make asylum claims. These are usually non EEA nationals although not always.

    The Home Office may make a positive decision on an asylum claim whilst a person is being considered under the NRM process although it is not obliged to do so.

    The Home Office should not make negative decision on an asylum claim whilst a person is being considered under the NRM process. Once a conclusive grounds decision has been taken, any outstanding claim for asylum should be decided.

    If a person seeks to rely on being a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery as part of their asylum claim, the information and evidence gathered during the NRM process and the findings in respect of whether a person is a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery will inform the asylum process.

    Asylum processes which need to take place prior to taking a decision on asylum but fall short of the decision itself can also be carried out during the NRM process to ensure that asylum decisions do not encounter significant and unjustified delays. The outcome of the reasonable or conclusive grounds decision is not indicative of the outcome of any asylum claim. A positive or negative reasonable or conclusive grounds decision on modern slavery does not automatically result in asylum being granted or refused. This is because the criteria used to grant asylum is not the same as the criteria used to assess whether a person is a victim of modern slavery.

    The conclusive grounds decision will be included in any outstanding asylum decision made after that decision as a finding of fact on whether the person was a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery or not; unless information comes to light at a later date that would alter the finding on human trafficking or modern slavery.

    Every asylum claim must be considered on its merits and in line with existing guidance.

    Action 6: consider whether the victim is eligible for discretionary leave
    If the Home Office is the Competent Authority, a positive conclusive grounds decision does not result in an automatic grant of immigration leave.

    However the Home Office will consider whether a grant of discretionary leave is appropriate following a positive conclusive grounds decision. This consideration will happen automatically where the individual has received a positive conclusive grounds decision from the Home Office.

    See discretionary leave policy instruction and When to grant discretionary leave after a positive Conclusive Grounds decision for further details.

    Where the person has an outstanding asylum claim see section on Make a decision on any outstanding asylum claim.

    When to grant discretionary leave after a positive Conclusive Grounds decision

    A person who is accepted as a victim of modern slavery by any Competent Authority in the UK (which includes human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour) will not be granted leave solely as a direct result of that decision unless they meet the relevant criteria see Criteria for granting Discretionary Leave to Remain. There is no automatic grant of leave to remain if there is a finding of fact that a person is a victim of human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

    There are no grounds under the Immigration Rules on which to grant leave on the basis of modern slavery (which includes human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour) except where a person is eligible for leave under the Immigration Rules relating to Overseas Domestic Workers – see Applications under the Immigration Rules for Overseas Domestic Workers. However some people who receive a positive conclusive grounds decision on human trafficking or modern slavery under the NRM may be eligible for a grant of discretionary leave outside of the Immigration Rules for reasons set out in When is discretionary leave to remain relevant?. Further periods of discretionary leave outside the Immigration Rules may be granted where the individual continues to meet the eligibility criteria set out in the discretionary leave policy but this is not on a route to settlement.

    When is discretionary leave to remain relevant?

    Someone will not normally qualify for a grant of leave solely because they have been identified as a victim of human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour – there must be compelling reasons based on their individual circumstances to justify a grant of discretionary leave, where they do not qualify for other leave on any other basis such as asylum or humanitarian protection.

    The Home Office will consider whether a grant of discretionary leave is appropriate following a positive conclusive grounds decision. This consideration will happen automatically where the individual has received a positive conclusive grounds decision from the Home Office under the criteria relating to personal circumstances, helping police with enquires, and pursuing compensation detailed below once a positive conclusive grounds decision is issued. The police need to make a formal request to the Home Office competent authority where the police are asking for discretionary leave be granted to the individual under the helping police with their enquiries criteria.

    Only the Home Office Competent Authority has an immigration function and other Competent Authorities like UKHTC cannot determine eligibility for or issue discretionary leave. This means that an automatic consideration of discretionary leave does not take place where UKHTC has taken a positive conclusive grounds decision, but those cases can still be granted discretionary leave under this policy where they or the police request discretionary leave on their behalf from the Home Office directly.

    Where an individual receives a positive conclusive grounds decision from another competent authority, for example the UKHTC then that individual will need to apply to the Home Office if they are seeking discretionary leave under this policy and relying on the criteria relating to personal circumstances, or pursuing compensation.

    Where an individual receives a positive conclusive grounds decision from another competent authority, for example the UKHTC, then the police rather than the individual will need to make a formal request to the Home Office competent authority where the police are asking for discretionary leave be granted to the individual under the criteria of helping the police with their enquiries. 

    Applications for further discretionary leave can be made by the individual under this policy under the criteria relating to personal circumstances, and pursuing compensation detailed below. Extensions are not considered automatically but must be applied for regardless of which Competent Authority took the positive conclusive grounds decision.

    The police rather than the individual will need to make a formal request to the Home Office competent authority under this policy where the police are asking for further discretionary leave to be granted to the individual under the criteria of helping the police with their enquiries. This might be sought if a criminal prosecution takes longer than expected and the police request that the individual be granted further discretionary leave in order to remain in the UK as a witness in the investigation.

    For further advice on cases relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland see Section below on Victims of modern slavery in Scotland and Northern Ireland – Discretionary Leave.

    Criteria for granting Discretionary Leave to Remain

    A grant of discretionary leave will be considered where the Competent Authority has conclusively identified (with a positive conclusive grounds decision) that an individual is a victim of trafficking (within the meaning of Article 4 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings) and either:

    • they have particularly compelling personal circumstances which justify a grant of discretionary leave to allow them to remain in the UK for a temporary period of time
    • they need to stay in the UK in order to pursue a claim for compensation against their traffickers (the fact that someone is seeking compensation will be relevant to the consideration but does not in itself merit a grant of leave - leave must only be granted where it would be unreasonable for them to pursue that claim from outside the UK)
    • the victim needs to stay in the UK to assist with police enquiries (the victim needs to have agreed to cooperate with the enquiry, and the police must make a formal request for them to be granted leave on this basis)

    Each case must be considered on its individual merits and in full compliance with the UK’s obligations under EU Directive 2011/36 on preventing and combating trafficking and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

    As a matter of policy a grant of discretionary leave will be also considered where the Competent Authority has conclusively identified an individual as a victim of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour but where they have not been trafficked. This means that anyone with a positive conclusive grounds decision on the basis of modern slavery can be considered for discretionary leave.

    The modern slavery victims who were not trafficked have to meet the same criteria to be granted discretionary leave due to personal circumstances, pursuing compensation (but against their modern slavery facilitators rather than traffickers) or assisting police with their enquiries. Where leave is being requested on the basis of assisting the police with their enquiries, the police must make the request that leave be granted on this basis.

    Personal circumstances

    When a victim receives a positive conclusive grounds decision, it may be appropriate to grant a victim of modern slavery a period of discretionary leave to remain in the UK if their personal circumstances are compelling, in line with Article 14 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. This must be considered in line with the discretionary leave policy.

    Personal circumstances might mean for example, to allow them to finish a course of medical treatment that would not be readily available if they were to return home. Such leave would normally be granted for the duration of the course of treatment or up to 30 months, whichever is shorter.

    Victims who pursue compensation

    When a victim receives a positive conclusive grounds decision, it may be appropriate to grant a victim of modern slavery a period of discretionary leave to remain in the UK to pursue compensation in line with Article 15 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which deals with the right of victims to compensation from traffickers.

    It may be appropriate to grant a confirmed victim of modern slavery who has been trafficked discretionary leave where it is clear that they need to stay in the UK on the grounds that they are pursuing a claim for compensation against their traffickers.

    The same approach will apply as a matter of policy to a confirmed victim of modern slavery who has not been trafficked. It may be appropriate to grant a confirmed victim of modern slavery who has not been trafficked a period of discretionary leave where it is clear that they need to stay in the UK on the grounds that they are pursuing a claim for compensation against their facilitators.

    The fact that someone is seeking compensation through the civil courts does not in itself merit victim status or a residence permit. When determining whether to grant a residence permit the Home Office must consider:

    • the type of compensation being sought
    • the grounds of the claim
    • how credible the claim is for example does the compensation claim relate to the claim of trafficking/slavery accepted or rejected by the a competent authority, is the victim claiming compensation for an injury (eg and seeking the cost of medical treatment) when the competent authority is aware that the victim incurred such costs or did not incur such costs, or the competent authority is has seen or not seen evidence that the victim suffered an injury – other issues might also be relevant to credibility
    • the likely length of the claim
    • whether the person needs to be physically in the UK for the duration of their claim - in some instances it may be more appropriate to facilitate return to the UK nearer to the hearing date or to arrange video conferencing facilities

    Victims who are helping police with their enquiries

    When a victim receives a positive conclusive grounds decision, it may be appropriate to grant a victim of modern slavery a period of discretionary leave to remain in the UK in line with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (the Convention), where a victim has agreed to cooperate with police enquiries.

    In every case where a person is conclusively found to be a victim of human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and has agreed to assist with police enquiries from the UK, the police must make a formal request for them to be granted leave to remain on this basis. Further periods of discretionary leave may be granted where necessary, for example, where a criminal prosecution takes longer than expected and the police have confirmed this and requested an extension.

    Requests for discretionary leave, or further periods of discretionary leave on this basis, should be made by the investigating police force, rather than the victim or their representatives. Legal representatives should not make an application for leave to remain on the basis that their client is a witness in an ongoing investigation.

    There is no set format in which the police need to make such a request. The police should not complete an application form. They can for example send an email to the Home Office Competent Authority. Requests from the police should be sent to:

    • For non EEA cases the request from the police should go to the NRM team in UK Visas and Immigration or Immigration Enforcement who made the positive conclusive grounds decision.
    • For EEA cases the request from the police should be sent to the following mailbox for cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Mailbox for police requests for DL for cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
    • For EEA cases the request from the police should be sent to the following mailbox for cases in Wales. Mailbox for police requests for DL for cases in Wales.

    If the police make a request before a conclusive grounds decision is taken, they should be notified that no decision on whether to grant discretionary leave will be taken before a conclusive grounds decision is taken.

    After the police make a request, the Competent Authority may seek further information from the confirmed victim such as asking them to complete an application form (the FLR(O) or FLR(DL) as appropriate) and return it to the Competent Authority.

    Considering EEA nationals for discretionary leave

    The policy approach in relation to personal circumstances, pursuing compensation and helping the police with their enquiries, also applies to eligible EEA nationals who are unable to exercise free movement rights. EEA nationals, who are identified as victims of modern slavery (human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour), retain the ability to exercise free movement rights in accordance with EU Regulations.

    However, there may be some circumstances in which the victim of modern slavery is unable to exercise their free movement rights. In such circumstances a confirmed victim of modern slavery who is an EEA national might seek discretionary leave under this Competent Authority guidance to be read in line with the discretionary leave policy.

    The Home Office should consider whether a grant of discretionary leave is appropriate where it takes a positive conclusive grounds decision for an EEA national. This consideration will happen automatically where the individual has received a positive conclusive grounds decision from the Home Office under the criteria relating to personal circumstances, helping police with enquires, and pursuing compensation detailed below once a positive conclusive grounds decision is issued. The police need to make a formal request to the Home Office competent authority where the police are asking for discretionary leave be granted to the individual under the helping police with their enquiries criteria.

    Where an EEA national receives a positive conclusive grounds decision from another competent authority e.g. UKHTC then that individual will need to apply to the Home Office if they are seeking discretionary leave under this policy and relying on criteria relating to personal circumstances, or pursuing compensation. They should use form FLR (O) to do so.

    Where an EEA national receives a positive conclusive grounds decision from another competent authority for example UKHTC then the police rather than the individual will need to make a formal request to the Home Office competent authority where the police are asking for discretionary leave be granted to the individual under the helping police with their enquiries criteria. For the mailboxes to be used by the police to make a request see: Victims who are helping police with their enquiries

    The same approach to fees and fee waivers set out in this guidance in relation to victims who seek discretionary leave will also apply to EEA nationals who seek discretionary leave from the Home Office. See Process for initial considerations of discretionary leave and Process for further requests for discretionary leave.

    Period of discretionary leave grants

    The period of leave will depend on the individual facts of the case and should be for the amount of time required, without further grants of discretionary leave being necessary in most cases. However, leave should normally be granted for a minimum of 12 months, and normally no more than 30 months. However, shorter or longer periods may be granted if the facts of the case justify it in accordance with the discretionary leave guidance.

    Once the leave expires, a further period of leave may be granted subject to the following process (see Process for further applications for discretionary leave), whether by formal request from the police or via an application form from the individual victim as appropriate and paying the fee as specified in this guidance. Where they continue to meet the relevant criteria under the policy further leave may be granted.

    Where someone is granted an initial period of discretionary leave this does not necessarily mean they are entitled to further leave or settlement.

    Further details on granting or refusing discretionary leave and the duration of leave can be found in the discretionary leave guidance.

    Process for initial considerations of discretionary leave

    There is no fee for an initial consideration of discretionary leave where a victim of modern slavery has a positive conclusive grounds decision from NRM as the fee is waived.

    The person will not need to fill in an application form to be considered under the discretionary leave policy on the basis of modern slavery where the Home Office has taken the positive conclusive grounds decision. However where this person has agreed to assist with police enquiries from the UK, the police must make a request for them to be granted leave on this basis.

    A person with a positive conclusive grounds decision who has claimed asylum will also receive an automatic consideration for discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery if they are not granted asylum or humanitarian protection or leave on the basis of their family or private life. However where this person has agreed to assist with police enquiries from the UK, the police must make a request for them to be granted leave on this basis.

    A person with a positive conclusive grounds decision who has claimed asylum will also receive an automatic consideration for discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery if they are not granted asylum or humanitarian protection or leave on the basis of their family or private life. However where this person has agreed to assist with police enquiries from the UK, the police must make a request for them to be granted leave on this basis.

    Some confirmed victims considered by UKHTC will have status in the UK e.g. some will be British citizens or may have limited leave in another capacity and therefore don’t need discretionary leave if they wish to remain in the UK. However some confirmed victims considered by UKHTC may want discretionary leave under this policy.

    A person will need to fill in an application form for consideration of discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery where another Competent Authority such as UKHTC (not the Home Office) took the positive conclusive grounds decision in their case and they are relying on criteria relating to personal circumstances, or pursuing compensation. Generally the form they should complete is the form FLR (O for non-asylum cases or the form FLR (DL) for failed asylum claimants.

    However where this person has agreed to assist with police enquiries from the UK, the police must make a request for them to be granted leave on this basis. In those police request cases those individuals with a confirmed decision from UKHTC should not submit an application form as the police should instigate any discretionary leave process. For the mailboxes to be used by the police to make a request see: Victims who are helping police with their enquiries

    After the police make a request, the Competent Authority may seek further information from the confirmed victim such as asking them to complete an application form (the FLR(O) or FLR(DL) as appropriate) and return it to the Competent Authority.

    Process for further requests for discretionary leave

    If discretionary leave is granted on the basis set out in this guidance, any request for further discretionary leave must be made using the relevant application form available on GOV.UK.

    Which form to use?

    Forms are subject to change, the most up to date version is available on GOV.UK.

    A person refused asylum and granted discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery must apply on form FLR (DL) for further leave on the basis of modern slavery.

    A person who has never claimed asylum but was granted discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery must apply on form FLR (O) for further leave on the basis of modern slavery.

    The only exception to this will be where the police make a formal request to the Competent Authority for discretionary leave to be extended. In such cases an application form should not be submitted as the police should instigate the discretionary leave process. For the mailboxes to be used by the police to make a request see: Victims who are helping police with their enquiries

    After the police make a request, the Competent Authority may seek further information from the confirmed victim such as asking them to complete an application form FLR (O) or form FLR (DL) as appropriate) and return it to the Competent Authority.

    A person granted discretionary leave on the basis of modern slavery who wants to apply for leave to remain on any other basis, for example family life, must apply on the relevant form. See GOV.UK for current forms and any fees that may apply.

    Fee policy for extending discretionary leave

    There is no fee for an initial consideration of discretionary leave where a victim of modern slavery has a positive conclusive grounds decision from NRM as the fee will be waived.

    The fee for requests for further discretionary leave from victims with a positive conclusive grounds decision from the NRM will continue to be waived in the following circumstances:

    • they qualify to extend their discretionary leave based on the criteria set out in this guidance (eg compelling personal circumstances; to pursue a claim for compensation against their traffickers; or to assist with police enquiries) and
    • they have not yet accrued 30 months’ discretionary leave since leaving the NRM

    Requests for further discretionary leave for victims with a positive conclusive grounds decision from the NRM will be subject to a fee (the leave to remain fee) in the following circumstances:

    • where they have already accrued 30 months’ discretionary leave since leaving the NRM
    • they do not qualify for a fee waiver on the basis of destitution or exceptional circumstances

    Summary of policy on fees for victims of trafficking/slavery in discretionary leave cases

    Initial discretionary leave consideration: fee waived automatically

    Further grant of discretionary leave (if total discretionary leave granted since the beginning of process is less than 30 months): fee waived automatically

    Further grant of discretionary leave (if applicant has already had 30 months discretionary leave and wants more leave) - one of the following options applies:

    • leave to remain fee applies if applicant does not seek and/or qualify for a fee waiver
    • fee waiver if destitute or exceptional circumstances apply – if they meet fee waiver criteria the fee for the discretionary leave consideration will be waived

    This criteria applies to victims of trafficking/slavery who have had a positive conclusive grounds decision from the National Referral Mechanism. They have to meet criteria set out in this guidance to qualify for discretionary leave.

    How does a victim of trafficking or slavery qualify for a fee waiver in further discretionary leave cases?

    A victim of trafficking or slavery who is seeking further discretionary leave where they have already accrued 30 months discretionary leave since leaving the NRM will need to meet the same fee waiver criteria as applies to Article 8 applicants.

    This criteria provides that applicants will qualify for a fee waiver only where they can demonstrate on the basis of evidence provided that

    • they are destitute
    • they would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee
    • there are exceptional circumstances relating to their financial circumstances and ability to pay the fee such that the fee should be waived in their case (notwithstanding the fact that the evidence does not demonstrate that they are destitute or would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee)

    For more information, please see the guidance on this fee waiver.

    Form Appendix 1 FLR(FP) FLR(O) must be completed if a victim wants to apply to waive their fee if they have already accrued discretionary leave beyond 30 months.

    Form Appendix 1 does not need to be completed in cases where further discretionary leave is sought and request for further leave will not exceed 30 months in total since leaving the NRM.

    Case studies

    Example 1: The victim is granted 6 months discretionary leave to assist police with their enquiries. The police request an extension of discretionary leave for a further 12 months. The fee for both of these discretionary leave considerations will be waived as together they total less than 30 months leave. They do not need to complete a fee waiver request form.

    Example 2: The victim is granted 12 months discretionary leave to assist police with their enquiries. The police request an extension of discretionary leave for a further 12 months. Both of these discretionary leave considerations will have the fee automatically waived as together they total less than 30 months leave. They do not need to complete a fee waiver form.

    Example 3: The victim is granted discretionary leave of 30 months due to their personal circumstances. This initial consideration will automatically have the fee waived.

    If they seek further discretionary leave this would be exceed 30 months so they will have to complete an application form and pay a fee unless they qualify for a fee waiver. If they want to rely on a fee waiver they would also have to complete a fee waiver form (in addition to the application form) so that their ability pay the fee based on the fee waiver criteria can be assessed.

    The guidance and forms on fee waivers are currently being updated to refer to victims of trafficking or slavery.

    Decisions about whether to apply a fee waiver will not be taken by the Competent Authority in the Home Office. They will be taken by other staff in UK Visas and Immigration. At the time of publication this was OLCU for failed asylum seekers and Sheffield casework in other cases.

    Victims of modern slavery who enter the NRM in Scotland and Northern Ireland

    A victim of human trafficking in Scotland and Northern Ireland with a positive conclusive grounds decision will fall to be considered under the discretionary leave policy above.

    However, modern slavery cases outside human trafficking cannot receive a positive decision when considered by the NRM in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is possible that a potential victim of modern slavery outside human trafficking would still be referred to the NRM by a first responder but they cannot obtain a positive reasonable grounds or from the NRM and therefore will not get a conclusive grounds consideration from the NRM or they will receive a positive reasonable grounds decision but cannot get a conclusive grounds consideration from the NRM.

    If the Competent Authority considers they were not trafficked but that they would have received a positive reasonable grounds decision in England and Wales because their circumstances can meet the definition of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, the Competent Authority will not issue a positive reasonable grounds decision. They would have to issue a negative reasonable grounds decision.

    However the Competent Authority should go on to consider whether they would have received a positive conclusive grounds decision in England and Wales because their circumstances can meet the definition of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

    The Competent Authority should issue a negative conclusive grounds decision. If the Competent Authority considers they would have received a positive conclusive grounds decision in England and Wales they should notify the victim that this is the case.

    Where the Home Office is the Competent Authority they will go on to consider the case under the discretionary leave policy except that the requirement to have received a positive conclusive grounds decision will be replaced by a requirement that the Competent Authority considers they would have received a positive conclusive grounds decision in England and Wales as a victim of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

    Where UKHTC is the Competent Authority the above process should be followed except that the onus will on the individual or the police to seek discretionary leave from the Home Office using the processes outlined elsewhere in this guidance.

    If discretionary leave is granted on this basis, the process above for requesting extensions must be followed. The same approach to fees and fee waivers set out above should apply. See:

    • Process for initial considerations of discretionary leave
    • Process for further requests for discretionary leave

    Victims of modern slavery who do not enter the NRM in Scotland and Northern Ireland

    A person in Scotland and Northern Ireland who is not referred to the NRM but considers themselves to be a victim of modern slavery outside human trafficking will not benefit from the discretionary leave policy for victims of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour whilst their case remains outside the NRM.

    They may wish to contact frontline staff to see if they are content to refer their case to the NRM due to the circumstances of their case such as the presence of relevant indicators.

    Issuing Discretionary Leave

    See ‘Issuing the discretionary leave decision’ for details on issuing discretionary leave.

    Action 7: Conclude outstanding immigration issues
    The Home Office Competent Authority will arrange for any outstanding immigration considerations (for example outstanding immigration casework, voluntary return or enforced removal) to be completed in line with normal procedures by passing the case to the relevant team once the conclusive grounds decision has been taken. In some cases an application will need to be made for leave to be considered. 

    Action 8: Inform the victim about a voluntary return
    As potential victims may wish to return home at any point, the Home Office must inform them of the opportunity and options available to make a voluntary return. Support providers may also discuss this with the potential victim. It is important that you involve victims in the process of return as soon as possible as this will aid their return and empower them to take control once they have returned.

    The exact voluntary return programmes available may vary from time to time so potential victims should be provided with details of any relevant Assisted Voluntary Returns programmes available at the relevant time. Not all schemes will apply to all potential victims for example in criminal cases.

    There may also be voluntary return packages available specifically for trafficking victims in which case the Home Office must inform the victim.