If you have been in the unfortunate situation of finding yourself with a refusal of your immigration application you may be able to appeal the decision if your decision falls into one of the categories listed below, please note that in this post we have only covered applications where the Immigration Act 2014 applies only:
Under section 82 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 a person may appeal to the Tribunal where a decision has been made to either:
refuse a protection claim
refuse a human rights claim
revoke protection status
At Apply for UK Visa we have helped many clients who find themselves in this situation and have provided this short breakdown to let our clients know what happens in the appeal process and what we do to ensure that your case is put forward in the best possible way to the Tribunal.
On receipt of your refusal decision you will be informed if you have a right of appeal or not.
If you do have a right of appeal you will be informed if you must appeal within 14 days of the decision or if you are outside of the UK within 28 days.
Here in this blog we will show the process for an in country appeal which is filed with the Tribunal and what happens next.
In the past an appeal was filed using the old paper form or online which would then be filed and we would wait for the Hearing Date, now however the process has changed and we say it is a three stage process broken down into the stages below.
We have also provided screenshots of the portal to help our clients know exactly what happens when and why we do the work in the stages that we advise our clients.
STAGE 1 – NOTICE AND GROUNDS OF APPEAL
When our client receives a refusal we will advise them on the merits of their appeal grounds, we will advise whether a new application is more viable or if they need to challenge this decision by way of an appeal.
In order to file the appeal we must file this via the HMCTS Portal which allows the appeal to be processed with more ease than it was in the past.
At this stage you will be advised by your immigration lawyer at Apply for UK Visa on the merits of your appeal and what grounds we will be using to challenge the Home Office’s decision, we will also plan at this stage the documents that we will need for the next stage and provide clear and concise advice on what we will do and how.
At this stage you will also be required to pay £140 to the First-tier Tribunal for an Oral Hearing and if a Paper based hearing it would be £80, we find that most clients prefer the Oral Hearing as it gives us a better opportunity to challenge decision, albeit it is more expensive.
Once your appeal is filed on the portal the Tribunal informs us that your appeal has been filed and shows as “Appeal Submitted”.
As you can see the portal states that the appeal has been submitted and we are now waiting for the Respondent’s evidence which is the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer’s Bundle of Documents that they will rely on at the hearing.
The next stage of the work will be when the bundle is received from the Respondent and we will be notified of the same by the Tribunal via an email.
However even at this stage we would have already advised you on what evidence we need and give you ample time to provide this before the next stage starts.
STAGE 2 – CASE BUILDING – APPEAL SKELETON ARGUMENT
At this stage we will need to start at the stage where it states “Case Building” which means we will build our case based on the grounds and the arguments that we will want to raise at the hearing.
This stage also gives rise to a review which we have discussed further below.
At this stage we will be preparing an Appeal Skeleton Argument on your behalf, this document will need to be sent with the evidence that we have already advised you that we will need and will also be accompanied by a Witness Statement from the Appellant, the Sponsor and any other witnesses in the case.
An Appeal Skeleton Argument in an Immigration Case needs to be set out in three distinct parts to include the following:
a concise summary of the appellant’s case
a schedule of issues
why those issues should be resolved in the appellant’s favour, by reference to the evidence you have (or plan to have) and any legal authorities you rely upon
At this stage we use our experience and knowledge to draft the Appeal Skeleton Argument for your immigration case to cover the three parts which the Tribunal wants us to over when filing this document.
With this document we also prepare a full bundle which will be forwarded to the Respondent for a review.
Once we have submitted the documents the Tribunal will then forward the case to the Respondent and will show as “Case Under Review” on the portal.
The Respondent will then need to review the case and provide a meaningful review to what we have put forward in our Appeal Skeleton Argument.
It is at this stage that the Respondent could potentially withdraw the refusal and decide to review the decision and grant your visa, this does happen and is a good way of saving yourself the costs at Stage 3 of the work which is when a full hearing takes place.
If the Respondent refuses the review and states that the matter must proceed to a hearing we then end up at Stage 3 discussed below.
We have provided another screenshot for you to see the progress of the case and how it appears before your immigration lawyer at Apply for UK Visa.
STAGE 3 – HEARING
If we reach Stage 3 it means that the Respondent is not willing to concede on any of the arguments that we raised or it may be the case that we have narrowed it down to one or two grounds that are still in contention and for this we need to progress to a full hearing at the Tribunal before the Immigration Judge.
However even before we get to the hearing date we need to do more work on your appeal which starts off with firstly informing the Tribunal of your Hearing Requirements, this could if you need an interpreter or anonymity etc.
Once we have submitted your hearing requirements we are then told of the hearing date which is at the Listing Tab stage on the portal.
At the pre hearing stage we are required to send in any further evidence that we need to send in, this could actually include a further witness statement to answer any of the issues that are raised by the Respondent in the review, but it could also be a response to the Review itself which are able to do for a client.
At this stage we are also then serving your further bundle on the Respondent and getting ready for the hearing with you.
You would have been informed that we would be instructing Counsel (a Barrister) for your hearing and at this stage we would be liaising with your Barrister for the hearing and sending the bundle across to the Barrister well ahead of the hearing so that we can discuss the case and decide on how we will tackle the issues that have been raised by the Respondent. The bundle to the Barrister will go with what is known as a Brief to Counsel in which we outline clearly to the Barrister the issues and what we are arguing in the case, we also refer to the relevant documents in our Brief to Counsel so that the Barrister who attends the hearing is fully aware of your case and not just turning up on the day as per some of the horror stories that we have heard in the past.
At this stage your hearing could take place either remotely or at the Tribunal depending on how the Tribunal directs us to conduct the hearing.
Either way our lawyers at Apply for UK Visa through their experience and knowledge will guide you from the offset so you are aware what will happen on the day.
Prior to your hearing your will be speaking to your Barrister who will run you through the events that will happen on the day.
At the end of the hearing you will be told by the Immigration Judge what happens next which is usually you being informed that a decision will be sent out in 2-3 weeks time.
On the HMCTS Portal after this stage it will show that we are at the “Decision” stage and this is when we know that we need to wait for the Appeal Determination which will contain the reasons for the decision made by the Immigration Judge in your Immigration Appeal.
In our further blog we will cover what happens at the Appeal Hearing, please do check back soon for that!
If you do find yourself in need of an Immigration Solicitor who deals with Immigration Appeals then you can contact us at Apply for UK Visa where we have experience in dealing with the most complex of immigration appeals whether it is for an asylum claim, a spouse visa case or any type of Article 8 claim that was refused and you now need to challenge it via an appeal.
We make it an easy process for our clients and ensure that we always tell you what happens next and what is expected from yourself and us to get the desired result for you.