Don’t let a refusal letter change the course of your life
With specialist lawyers working closely with experienced Barristers, we have a complete team. They’re on hand to advise on appeal prospects and different options available to you.
Furthermore, they can prepare and submit your Appeal forms and run your appeal case against the Home Office.
Our lawyers can also represent you during your Appeal Hearing at the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. Payment options vary and we’ll discuss them during your initial conference. To help you plan for the future, and where possible, fees will be fixed and matters dealt with in stages to keep you fully aware of costs at all times.
Important things to consider:
- You cannot fax or email your appeal and it must be in written form. Also, when you submit an appeal letter with your appeal you should sign and date it.
- Appeals may take up to eight weeks from date of receipt of the appeal by the relevant Visa Office.
- If the Home Office refuses your visa application on the grounds that you gave false or misleading information or false supporting documentation as part of your application they may refuse you the right of appeal.
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If the Home Office refuse your visa application made either in or outside the UK, you may have the right of appeal against the refusal decision. However, this depends on various factors such as the type of application. Also, whether the application was made when you had existing leave.You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if the Home Office has:
- Refused your protection claim (a.k.a. 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
Your decision letter will tell you if you have the legal right to appeal. There is a timescale of 14 days to appeal after the date of your decision from within the UK. However, you have 28 days to appeal after you get your decision from outside the UK. If you apply after the deadline you must explain why so the Tribunal can decide whether to listen to it.
On your appeal, you can ask for a decision to be made just on information in your appeal form and documents you supply to the tribunal. However, the tribunal can choose to have a hearing, even if you don’t ask for one. They tend to be public hearings but you can ask for it to be held in private or to attend by video link but you must have a reason e.g. a public hearing would put you in danger. Additionally, you can ask for a male or female judge if you think there are issues in your appeal that make it appropriate.
You may need to take part in a ‘pre-hearing’ where the tribunal will check that you’re ready for a full hearing. Appeals will be to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) which is independent of government. They can conduct an immigration case entirely on paper or with a verbal hearing in front of an immigration judge with witnesses and a legal representative. The judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.
At a hearing you’ll find;
- A judge/s, sometimes with other tribunal members
- Your representative
- Any witnesses called to give evidence
- An interpreter if you’ve asked for one
- A Home Office ‘presenting officer’
- Your sponsor, if you have one.
The Tribunal can re-schedule a hearing if they cancel the original date. Also, the hearing may be adjourned as ‘part heard’ if there isn’t enough time to finish it or it can’t be resolved on the day. The tribunal will arrange another hearing with the same people present. A decision will be given informing you of if the tribunal allows or dismisses your appeal.
If you’ve made a points-based system application outside the UK (Tier 1,2,4 or 5) you will not have the right of appeal. However, you’ll have an ‘administrative review’ which is similar to an appeal procedure but less rigorous than a true appeal.
An appeal is relatively cheap as there is little risk of having to pay the costs of the other side. In addition, it’s relatively quick but still a lengthy process for applications made outside the UK. Sometimes you can submit new evidence and the judge can make their own factual findings and must make their own decision on the case.
A judicial review is to check whether a law is in compliance with a constitution. They are relatively expensive and there is a risk of having to pay costs of the other side as well as your own legal costs. Additionally, the process is very lengthy but there’s a chance that the other side may give in at an early stage. You cannot submit new evidence. Furthermore, it restricts a judge to review the lawfulness of the decision on certain error of law grounds and a judge will generally not substitute his or her own decision.
If you lose the appeal and think there’s a legal mistake with the tribunal’s decision you can ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber.) For example, you may think the tribunal;
- Got the law wrong
- Didn’t apply the correct law
- Didn’t follow the correct procedures, which affected the decision
- Had no evidence to support its decision
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“The legal process, from beginning to end, can be a very daunting experience for anybody. My aim is to provide clear and effective advice and support to my clients, no matter the circumstance or legal issue, in order to reach the best outcome for them”.