Getting a refusal of your application is not a very pleasant experience. This usually happens when the correct document or explanation is not provided to the UKVI, and the application is refused. It may be possible for you to go for immigration appeals and reviews following the outcomes of your immigration application.

Most of the time, UKVI does not process the application fairly and this results in the refusal.

Many times, our clients approach us to challenge the decision. However, one rule does not fit all. This means that we advise them to resubmit the application rather than to challenge it by way of Administrative Reviews.

In other circumstances, we have successfully challenged the wrongful decision by means of Administrative Review and Judicial Review.

Our approach to immigration appeals

Our main aim is always to choose the correct approach by understanding the history of the application. Also, the applicant’s current circumstances (Financial, Personal, Work) and follow the strategy which suits them the most.

If the refusal receives the right of appeal, then we challenge it by loading an appeal.

Appeals process of the First-Tier immigration tribunal

The First-Tier Immigration Tribunal, which sits at various places throughout the UK, holds immigration appeals in the first instance. An Immigration Judge, who is a qualified lawyer, presides over the Tribunal.. Some types of applications (eg asylum/human rights applications, family visa applications, long residence visa applications, European applications) have the right of appeal before the Tribunal if they are refused, and this can apply to refusal decisions made either in the UK or outside the UK.

The Tribunal can conduct an appeal purely on a paper basis, i.e. the Judge decides the case by reading the papers that have been submitted, or it can conduct an appeal by holding a live hearing with witnesses and legal representatives from both sides.

Appeals process of another type of application

Other types of applications (eg working visas) do not have the right of appeal. Instead, they have the right to “administrative review”, which is a different kind of process. The applicant can make a paper application to either the Home Office (in-country) or the British diplomatic post (out of the country) to challenge the decision and state the reasons why it is wrong. An officer from the Home Office considers the application for the British diplomatic post not by a qualified lawyer, and the quality of decision-making is not always as high as that of the Tribunal.

If the Tribunal “allows” the appeal, then the appeal is successful, and the Appellant(the migrant) will get the visa. While, If the Tribunal “dismisses” the appeal, then the appeal is unsuccessful.

If an Appellant is unsuccessful before the First-Tier Tribunal then potentially they can challenge the First-Tier Tribunal Judge’s decision before the Upper Immigration Tribunal, which is a senior tribunal. The Upper Tribunal can overturn the First-Tier Judge’s decision if it thinks it contains a material error

Is there any Government fee for appeals and administrative review?

Yes, there is. There is a Government fee of £80 for an administrative review and a fee of £80 for an appeal on the papers, and a fee of £140 for an oral appeal.

Which is better, an appeal on the papers or a live oral appeal hearing?

Generally, a live oral appeal is likely to be better. If the hearing is heard before a Judge, you, or your legal representative, if you have one, can see what’s going on, and you can try to prevent any mistakes or misconceptions from emerging in the case. You will have the chance to present your case in a live environment, and you will be able to answer questions, which could, in many types of situations, assist your case. However, the Tribunal fee for an oral appeal is higher, and if you are instructing lawyers, their fees for preparing an oral appeal hearing are likely to be higher as well.

How long does the immigration appeals process take?

Unfortunately, the immigration appeals process has recently become very slow. Appeals for in-country decisions are currently taking several months from start to finish, and appeals for out-of-country decisions are taking even longer, even as long as a year in some cases. Administrative reviews are generally much quicker than this; usually, they only take a few weeks.

However, there is one important thing to bear in mind. If an in-country application is refused and the migrant appeals against the decision or applies for administrative review, the migrant cannot be removed from the UK during the appeal or administrative review process, however long it takes.

Is it always better to appeal against a decision than to make a fresh application?

No, not always. In some cases, when an application has been refused, but there is no allegation of deception or dishonesty, the best course is to make a fresh application, avoiding the issues that caused the refusal in the previous application. This can be a complex issue, and it depends on the circumstances.

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