Legal risks

The UK regularly returns people who enter via irregular routes and have no right to be there.

It is illegal to smuggle or help those trying to smuggle people into the UK.

If you are caught:

  • Assisting people to enter the UK through illegal means
  • Arranging transport for people to hide aboard and attempt to enter the UK
  • Using force to stowaway on a vehicle bound for the UK

The UK Government will take criminal action against you, and you could end up in prison whilst waiting to be returned.

Don’t risk your life or put yourself in people smugglers’ debt – find out about alternative options.

Action against criminals:

Those who seek to come to the UK unlawfully and the ruthless criminals who facilitate journeys are all breaking the law and endangering lives.

The UK government returns people who have no right to be there

Drone camera footage is used to detect people trying to get into the UK and alert authorities

If you are found to assist people smugglers, by steering the boat or helping to get other people to pay smugglers, then you will have criminal action taken against you

The information on this page has been provided by the Home Office, on behalf of the UK Government. For more information on immigration to the UK visit Visas and Immigration

This is Ali. He couldn’t afford to pay a smuggler to get into a boat, so he agreed to steer as payment for making the crossing. Ali was identified using drone footage, arrested and jailed. Think about your future, and make a better choice.

Find out more about safe and legal alternatives that will not put your life at risk.