Can I appeal an immigration decision?
As London immigration solicitors we are frequently asked ‘how do I appeal an immigration decision?’ That is because many people come to us for help after making their own Immigration application or after trying and failing to make a successful immigration application with other solicitors. The good news for those wanting to appeal an Immigration decision is that according to government figures just over half of Home Office Immigration decisions are overturned on appeal.
Immigration appeal solicitors
If you need advice on whether you can appeal an Immigration decision our specialist team of immigration appeal solicitors can help you. We will give you an honest opinion on your best Immigration options and your appeal routes and can represent you in all types of Immigration appeal hearings. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online to discuss your Immigration appeal.
Can I appeal an Immigration decision?
Whilst according to latest government statistics over fifty percent of Immigration appeals succeed the bad news is that over the years governments have reduced the ways in which you can appeal an Immigration decision, citing deportation delays and the costs of appeals as the reasons for changes in Immigration Rules.
If you have received notification from the Home Office that your Immigration application has been turned down then you need to act fast because there are time limits within which to challenge a Home Office decision and start an Immigration appeal. An Immigration solicitor may advise you to make a fresh application and that may need to be submitted quickly to avoid you becoming an overstayer.
As there are different appeal routes, legal arguments and potential fresh visa applications no-one can provide an accurate answer in a blog to the question ‘can I appeal an Immigration decision?’ without a full assessment by Immigration appeal solicitors. However, rest assured that if your appeal case and options are assessed by us every avenue will be looked at to secure the best Immigration outcome for you.
The first thing that an Immigration appeal solicitor will look at is whether you have a right of appeal.
Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal
You may have a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). Potentially you can appeal an Immigration decision to the First-tier Tribunal if the Home Office has refused:
- An asylum claim;
- A Human Rights claim;
- An application under EEA regulations, for example, for permanent residence.
In addition you may be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if the Home Office has decided to revoke your:
• Asylum status;
• humanitarian protection status;
• British Citizenship.
Don’t think that you won't be able to appeal a Home Office Immigration decision because you did not bring a Human Rights case. Although your application nay not be an Asylum claim or a humanitarian protection claim you may still be able to use a breach of Human Rights as a basis for your Immigration appeal.
If you do not have the grounds to make an Immigration appeal to the First-tier Tribunal under the new Immigration Rules you may be able to ask the Home Office to conduct an administrative review of the Immigration decision.
Appeal or administrative review?
An appeal against a Home Office Immigration decision is made to an independent tribunal or court. An application for an administrative review is made to the Home Office. A different Home Office official to the one who made the original Immigration decision will conduct the administrative review.
An administrative review can be quicker and cheaper than an Immigration appeal but you don’t have the advantage of an independent overview of the original Home Office decision. The advice on whether you can ask for an administrative review or if you have the grounds to appeal the Home Office decision will very much depend on the type of Immigration application you made and whether you have Human Rights claims.
I don’t want to appeal an Immigration decision but want to add information
Many people say to Immigration appeal solicitors that they don’t want to appeal the Home Office decision as they just want the Home Office to look again at their application but with added information. That is because many Immigration clients realise that if they had used a specialist Immigration solicitor to submit their original Immigration application and had provided all the information to support their original Home Office application (in accordance with the Immigration Rules and Home Office guidance) then their original application may well have been successful.
An Immigration appeal solicitor will advise you on whether your best option is appeal, apply for an administrative review or make a fresh application. If you have the option of making a fresh Immigration application you will need to pay a new Home Office application fee but this may nonetheless be the best route for you.
First-tier Tribunal appeal procedure
Once Immigration appeal solicitors have assessed that you have a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal and you have reasonable grounds for appeal then the next step is to prepare the appeal application.
It is vital that the Immigration appeal application and the grounds for appeal are drafted by specialist Immigration appeal solicitors because if you don’t correctly set out the right grounds for appeal you won't be able to add to the documents later on, without tribunal permission.
If you are trying to deal with your own Immigration appeal it can be tempting to ask the First-tier Tribunal to look at your appeal paperwork and make a decision without a hearing. However, Immigration appeal solicitors say it is usually in the best interests of anyone appealing against a Home Office decision to the First-tier Tribunal to ask for a tribunal hearing. At that hearing the tribunal can hear arguments from both the Home Office and your Immigration appeal solicitor.
Home Office review of Immigration decision
If you are very fortunate, if you lodge an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal, the Home Office will review its decision to refuse your Immigration application and withdraw their refusal notice. If they don’t then you can go ahead with your Immigration appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.
Preparing for a First-tier Tribunal appeal
The contents of your appeal bundle will very much depend on the type of appeal you are making but may, for example, include supporting paperwork or detailed witness statements.
The First-tier Tribunal appeal hearing
If you asked for a tribunal court hearing then you will get an appeal date when you will be expected to attend the tribunal hearing. You will be prepared for the First-tier Tribunal hearing so you know what to expect on the day.
The Home Office Presenting Officer will set out the Home Office case and explain to the tribunal why the Home Office objects to your Immigration appeal. You and any witnesses may be cross examined by the Home Office Presenting Officer. You will also get the chance to put your side of the case and your Immigration appeal solicitor and barrister will be able to make Immigration appeal legal arguments on your behalf and ask questions about the original Home Office decision process.
You are very unlikely to get an Immigration appeal decision on the day of the First-tier Tribunal hearing. Most Immigration appeal decisions take about four weeks to arrive but, depending on the legal complexities of your case, the decision may take more or less time than the estimated four weeks.
Can I appeal a First-tier Tribunal Immigration decision?
If your Immigration appeal to the First-tier Tribunal isn’t successful, then you will need to carefully consider an appeal against the First-tier Tribunal decision.
Specialist Immigration solicitors are often asked to review applications and appeal decisions of the First-tier Tribunal after applicants have made applications on their own behalf or without specialist Immigration legal advice. A specialist Immigration appeal solicitor will tell you that you can only appeal against a First-tier Tribunal decision if the tribunal judge made an error in how they applied Immigration law to the facts of your case.
To appeal a First-tier Tribunal Immigration decision you first have to ask the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. If this request is granted you can go ahead with your appeal to the Upper tribunal and if it isn’t you have the option of asking for permission to appeal from the Upper Tribunal.