Demonstrations and International Students

This briefing deals with the risks to someone’s immigration status if they get into trouble at a demonstration.

First, it is important to remember that most mainstream protest in the UK is fairly predictable, no one gets arrested and everyone is happy. However, there is always the risk that the police will decide to arrest people even if they personally are not involved in anything arrestable.

Before you go to a demo, you should think about the risks you are able and willing to take. This is important for people who do not have British citizenship, because the Home Office can be very draconian and has the power to revoke visas/deport people even for minor things. Challenging these government actions can be very time-consuming and costly.

We’re currently in the process of updating our guidance for those without British Citizenship. The Informed Dissent website has useful guidance on the impacts of arrest on immigration status.


Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.