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Unnecessary Immigration Appeals – Home Office Withdraws From 13,000 Appeals In Five Years

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The National Scot has recently reported that the Home Office has withdrawn from 13,000 Immigration appeals in the past five years.

This is a shocking number, and top London Immigration law firms argue that it clearly illustrates that many migrants are being forced to endure months or even years of unnecessary expense and uncertainty because of the Home Office delaying their applications for reasons that may not stand up to an Immigration judge’s scrutiny.

Many of the best Immigration lawyers state that thousands who have a legit right to stay in the UK are being penalised.

What is an Immigration appeal?

If your Immigration application has been refused, you may have grounds to appeal the decision. Unfortunately, since 2015, Immigration visa solicitors are unable to make an appeal on Immigration decisions unless UK Visas and Immigration have:

  • refused your protection claim (also known as ‘Asylum claim’ or ‘humanitarian protection’)
  • refused your Human Rights claim
  • made a decision under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations, for example, the Home Office has decided to deport you or refused to issue you a residence document
  • decided to revoke your protection status
  • decided to take away your British Citizenship

If your points-based visa application was submitted before 6th April 2015, you might also be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

What can I do if the reason for my visa refusal does not fall under the above categories?

If an entry-clearance officer has refused your Immigration visa for a reason not listed above, your only option is to ask for an Administrative Review of the decision or bring a challenge via judicial review.

Administrative Review

Administrative review is available to applicants within the UK to challenge an eligible decision on the basis that the decision is incorrect due to an administrative error.

An example of where Administrative Review may result in entry-clearance previously refused being granted is as follows: An entry-clearance officer examining your application overlooks a particular document, for example, in the case of a Tier 2 (General) Visa, one that demonstrates that £945 of personal savings has been in your bank account for 90 days.

To be valid, an application for administrative review must be made in accordance with the following requirements:

  • only one Administrative Review can be made per decision
  • the application must be made in relation to an eligible decision
  • the application must be made while the applicant is in the UK if it relates to an application made in the UK

An application for Administrative Review may not be made if an applicant:

  • has previously signed an Administrative Review waiver form in respect of the eligible decision, or;
  • makes a fresh application for entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain during the time within which an application for Administrative Review may be brought

You must apply for an administrative review within 28 days of getting the decision.

judicial review

judicial review is where the courts will look at the lawfulness of the acts or admissions of a public body. For example, if UK Visas and Immigration, in refusing your Immigration application, breached the government's duties under the Human Rights Act, you may be able to apply for judicial review.

judicial review is a complex process and can be costly. It is therefore imperative that you instruct an experienced Immigration lawyer to get the best advice and representation.

How is an Immigration appeal made?

An appeal must be lodged with the tribunal within 14 calendar days of the date that the appellant was sent the notice of decision if they are in the UK, or within 28 calendar days from the date that they receive an entry clearance decision

Top Immigration lawyers in the UK understand the need to act swiftly when lodging an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

Appeals can be decided either orally or on the papers submitted by an Immigration lawyer. In most cases, an oral hearing is preferable as it allows the appellant (or, in the case of entry clearance appeals, their representative or UK sponsor) to respond to submissions made by the Home Office and questions raised by the latter or the Immigration judge.

The correct form required to file an appeal depends on the type of Immigration matter in dispute and whether the Immigration decision you are appealing was made before or after the coming into force of the Immigration Act 2014.

The hard copy forms are as follows:

  • IAFT-1: In-country appeal against a decision to which the pre-Immigration Act 2014 appeals regime applies
  • IAFT-2: Appeal against an entry clearance officer’s decision to which the pre- Immigration Act 2014 appeals regime applies
  • IAFT-3: Appeal after departure from the UK, where the pre- Immigration Act 2014 appeals regime applies
  • IAFT-4: Applying for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal
  • IAFT-5: In-country appeal under the Immigration Act 2014 appeals provisions. The types of decision which can be appealed are listed as:
    • protection
    • Human Rights
    • revocation of protection status
    • EEA
    • deprivation of citizenship
  • IAFT-6: Appeal against an entry clearance officer’s decision under Immigration Act 2014 appeals provisions
  • IAFT-7: Appeal after departure from the UK under Immigration Act 2014 appeals provisions.

Why does instructing an Immigration solicitor provide the best chance of your appeal succeeding?

Making an appeal against a Home Office decision can be complex. Your best chance of success comes via instructing a top Immigration lawyer to advise and represent you throughout the process.

The National Scot report illustrates why investing in Immigration legal advice is so important. If the Home Office withdraws from a substantial amount of cases prior to their hearing in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), the conclusion can be drawn that the initial refusal was based on shaky grounds to begin with. An experienced Immigration solicitor has the best chance of picking this up and challenging the Home Office quickly, saving the applicant many months of uncertainty and additional expense.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London. Our immigration team would be happy to talk to you about making an immigration appeal.

By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.

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