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Appeal against a visa or immigration decision

You might be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if the Home Office has:

  • 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

You might also be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) about a Home Office decision on an application submitted before 6 April 2015.

The tribunal is independent of government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.

You can only appeal to the tribunal if you have the legal right to appeal – you’ll usually be told if you do in your decision letter. You have 14 days from the date of your decision to make an appeal, if you appeal after this date you will need to give an explanation why and the tribunal will decide whether or not it can hear your appeal.

If you are unsure of your position or would like to ensure that your application is handled by a knowledgeable specialist, get in touch with one of our friendly team members now on 0203 384 4389 to find out exactly how we can assist you to get it right first time round, saving you time, money and the heartache of being refused.

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Further Information

Oral Hearings

You can ask on your appeal form for a decision to be made either:

  • just on the information in your appeal form and any documents supplied to the tribunal
  • at a hearing that you or your representative can attend.

The tribunal can decide to have a hearing even if you don’t ask for one. You’ll be told if this is the case and invited to attend.

If the tribunal doesn’t hold a hearing, a judge will decide your case based on your appeal form and the documents.

Hearings are carried out in public. You can ask for it to be held in private or to attend by video link, but you must have a reason, for example a public hearing would put you in danger.

You can ask for a male or female judge if you think there are issues in your appeal that make it appropriate. The tribunal will decide if it can do this.

Applications made before 6 April 2015

You might be able to appeal against a decision made by the Home Office if you submitted your application before 6 April 2015 and it was refused.

Tier 1, 2 or 5 migrants and family members

You can make an appeal if you applied for leave to remain as a Tier 1, 2 or 5 migrant or family member before 2 March 2015 and your application was refused on or after 6 April 2015.

You can only do this if your application being refused means you don’t have permission (‘leave’) to enter or
remain in the UK.

Tier 4 migrants and family members

You can make an appeal if you applied for permission to remain as a Tier 4 migrant or family member before 20 October 2014 and your application was refused on or after 6 April 2015.

You can only do this if your application being refused means you don’t have permission (‘leave’) to enter or remain in the UK.

Other decisions

You can appeal against certain other Home Office decisions if you applied before 6 April 2015 and your application was refused on or after the same date.

You can only do this if the Home Office’s decision didn’t include refusing an asylum or human rights claim.

Leave to enter

You can appeal if your application for leave to enter was refused.

Vary your leave to enter or remain

You can appeal if your application to change (‘vary’) the length and conditions of your stay in the UK was refused. You can only do this if your application being refused means you don’t have permission (‘leave’) to enter or remain in the UK.

Entry clearance

You can appeal if your application for entry clearance was refused.

Certificate of entitlement

You can appeal if your application for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have a right of abode in the UK was refused.

If there is a hearing

We will write to you with details of where to go for your hearing.

If you can’t attend yourself you can ask someone to represent you and ask witnesses to attend.

You may have to give evidence at the hearing and answer questions.

You may need to take part in a ‘pre-hearing’, where the tribunal will check that you’re ready for a full hearing.

The hearing will be attended by:

  • a judge or judges, sometimes with other tribunal members
  • your representative
  • any witnesses called to give evidence
  • an interpreter, if you’ve asked for one

It can also be attended by:

  • a Home Office ‘presenting officer’
  • your sponsor, if you have one

If your appeal can’t be resolved at the hearing

If your appeal isn’t held on its scheduled day for any reason (for example there isn’t a judge available) it’ll be rescheduled for another day.

Your hearing may also 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.

Get a decision

You’ll be given a decision in person or by post.

The tribunal will either decide to:

  • allow your appeal – this doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be able to enter or stay in the country and may simply mean the Home Office has to reconsider its decision
  • dismiss your appeal and uphold the Home Office’s original decision

You’ll usually get a copy of the tribunal’s decision within 4 weeks of the hearing.

Both you and the Home Office can appeal the decision of the tribunal.

The tribunal can order either you or the Home Office to pay the other’s costs if either of you has acted unreasonably.

If you win your appeal

The Home Office will change (‘revise’) its decision if you win your appeal. The Home Office may reconsider your entire application if your circumstances have changed since you first made your appeal.

The judge may order the Home Office to pay you a ‘fee award’ if you win your appeal, up to the amount you paid for your tribunal fee.

If you lose your appeal

You can ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if you lose your case and you think there’s a legal mistake with the tribunal’s decision.

For example, you 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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