Back in May 2018, immigration appeal solicitors welcomed the announcement that the Home Office had set up a team dedicated to reviewing cases where appeals had been pending for more than 20 weeks. The announcement came in response to revelations of excessive waiting times – of up to 12 months between the date of decision and the date of the immigration appeal hearing. Not only that, the best immigration solicitors in London will see the review team’s remit against the context of the Ministry of Justice figures for the third quarter of 2017/2018 which showed that the immigration Appeal Tribunal was overturning around half of all decisions by the Home Office refusing individuals permission to stay in the UK.
Home Office decisions may be unlawful
The figures for Human Rights appeals was 57%, and for EEA free movement cases, 50%. Given that many cases do not reach the appeal stage for lack of funds, and the fact that these statistics do not include those cases where the Home Office reverses its decision the day before the appeal hearing, it seems that a significant number of Home Office decisions may actually be unlawful.
The review programme will look at cases where the pending appeal has been outstanding for more than 20 weeks – and so the likelihood of fresh evidence or new case law in support of those cases since the original decision is greater. The cases are being reviewed by barristers registered with the Government Legal Department who can recommend that a decision to refuse permission to remain in the UK is withdrawn and that leave to enter or remain should be granted.
The review programme has been in place for over 2 months and anecdotally, it appears that the Home Office is prepared to conceded appeals. This means that the review programme is definitely worth engaging with if you have strong arguments militating against the refusal, or fresh evidence in support of your case.
Your immigration Appeal Solicitor can assist with submission to the review team
In circumstances where it is likely that fresh evidence or other strong arguments will lead to the overturning of a decision to refuse permission to enter or remain in the UK, it is worth putting together a submission to the Home Office review team. The review is only available in cases where the appeal has been pending for more than 20 weeks, but once that point is reached, it is well worth a submission.
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recommended immigration solicitors with extensive experience handling immigration appeals, and a strong track record or achieving successful outcomes for clients. To book an appointment to discuss your immigration appeal or to ask about a submission to the Home Office call us on 0203 959 9123
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Posted on: Monday, 30 July, 2018