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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 143: Destruction of fingerprints

391.This section provides for the destruction of fingerprint records within a specified period. This specified period will be such a period as the Secretary of State specifies in an Order. If no period is specified then the period within which fingerprints must be destroyed is ten years.

392.Subsection (2) provides that where a person proves that he is a British citizen or a Commonwealth citizen who has the right of abode in the United Kingdom under section 2(1)(b) of the 1971 Act then any fingerprints that have been taken must be destroyed.

393.Subsection (3) provides that where an asylum seeker is granted indefinite leave to enter or remain, his fingerprints must be destroyed. In all other cases, fingerprints must be destroyed on the grant of leave to enter or remain.

394.Subsection (5) provides that where a person has failed to comply with the conditions imposed on him under paragraph 21(2) of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act, then subsection (4) will not apply. This means that where an individual has absconded from temporary admission his fingerprints can be retained. If he has not absconded, his fingerprints must be destroyed after his removal.

395.Subsection (6) provides that fingerprints taken after directions have been given (from persons referred to as “C” in section 141) must be destroyed if the directions cease to have effect.

396.Subsection (7) provides that if a person is fingerprinted because he has been given removal directions in respect of a deportation order, and the deportation order is later revoked, his fingerprints are to be destroyed.

397.Subsection (8) provides for the destruction of fingerprints taken from those arrested under Schedule 2 of the 1971 Act (referred to as “D” in section 141) once they are released.

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