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Appeals to the Upper Tribunal – Time Limits clarified

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By Vishal Makol of OTS Solicitors

A small change to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber Tribunal Procedure Rules which came into effect on 14th May 2018 may have quite a big impact on the time limits that apply to appeals to the Upper Tribunal.

Change to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber Tribunal Procedure Rules

Until recently, Rule 33 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 essentially meant that an application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal had to be made within 14 days of receiving the written decision of the First Tier Tribunal (28 days if the appellant was outside the UK). The wording has been changed so that instead of referring to the appellant being ‘provided with’ the written decision, it now refers to the appellant being ‘sent the’ written decision.

This shifts the date when the time limits for appeal starts to run from the date the appellant receives the written decision of the First Tier Tribunal to the date the decision is sent by the First Tier Tribunal. The crucial date all Immigration Appeal Solicitors must now bear in mind is the postage date, not the date of receipt of the decision. To do otherwise risks appeals being submitted out of time.

As most Immigration lawyers in London and the UK will recognise, this introduces some uncertainty and potentially reduces the amount of time appellants and their representatives will have to appeal. Postage delays, particularly for appellants outside the UK, may reduce the time available to compile a robust application for appeal.

Aligning with First Tier Tribunal time limits

Of course, this is something that experienced Immigration solicitors are already dealing with in respect of appeals to the First Tier Tribunal. The change to Rule 33 does introduce consistency on the time limits for appeals between the First Tier and Upper Tribunals. Unfortunately, rather than levelling ‘up’ and changing Rule 19 – which sets time running from the date a claimant is sent the notice of the decision - the change represents a levelling down. We can only hope that a similar situation does not develop in respect of Rule 33 as it did in respect of Rule 19, when decisions were sent out by the Home Office using second class post. As Free Movement have reported, that led to the Immigration Law Practitioners Association to complain.

If you are looking for a team of London Immigration appeal lawyers to assist you with your current application or appeal against a Home Office decision in respect of your Immigration status, get in touch with us at OTS Solicitors. We are recommended in the Legal 500 for Immigration and Human Rights matters and can advise on every aspect of your Immigration status or visa application.

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