Table of contents
- Avoiding a UK Visa Appeal or Visa Review
- Lodging your appeal
- Notice of Removal from the UK
- What happens after your notice of the UK visa appeal is lodged?
- Will I need to go to court for my UK visa appeal?
- How Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants can help you
Avoiding a UK Visa Appeal or Visa Review
To avoid a UK visa appeal, a person with the necessary expertise and experience should check every visa application. Seemingly irrelevant or incorrect detail or omissions on a visa application can lead to a visa being turned down.
Visa applicants should, therefore, take the utmost care to ensure they are making use of reputable immigration firms or consultants. This will prevent the frustration of a visa refusal. Not to mention the time and expense involved in re-applying or filing a visa appeal.
Lodging your appeal
If your initial application is refused, although there are risks and costs, in most cases an appeal or review is possible. In many cases, we can obtain a successful result for you.
In Which Cases Can One Lodge a Visa Appeal?
It is currently possible to lodge visa appeals ONLY against the following decisions:
- Refusal of your protection claim (also known as ‘asylum claim’ or ‘humanitarian protection’),
- Revoking of your protection status,
- Refusal of your human rights claim,
- Deportation or refusal of your residence document under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016,
- Revoking of your British citizenship,
- Refusal or revoking of your status, varying the length or condition of your stay, or deportation under the EU Settlement Scheme,
- The refusal or revoking or your travel permit or family permit under the EU Settlement Scheme or restriction of your rights to enter or leave the UK under those permits,
- Refusal or revoking of your permit, or deportation if you are a frontier worker,
- The refusal or revoking of your leave, or deportation of you are an S2 healthcare visitor,
- Certain decisions about applications submitted before 6 April 2015.
If your EU Settlement Scheme, frontier worker or S2 healthcare visitor application is unsuccessful you can apply again. You can re-apply under these schemes if you have new evidence to submit. Alternatively, you can request the Home Office for an administrative review.
You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
When can you appeal a Decision?
You can only appeal a decision if you made your application after:
- 11pm on 31 January 2020, for the EU Settlement Scheme,
- 10 December 2020, for a Frontier Worker permit,
- 11pm on 31 December 2020, for a S2 Healthcare Visitor visa.
If you are appealing against a decision inside the UK then the appeal must be lodged within 14 days. If you are appealing from outside the UK then you will have 28 days in which to appeal. The Tribunal can be extremely strict on time limits. Hence our advice is always to submit the appeal as soon as possible.
Notice of Removal from the UK
If you are to be removed from the UK the Notice will also contain the following information:
- Whether or not you have been granted a right of appeal.
- The Statutory Provision upon which this right of appeal is based on;
- Whether you can exercise your appeal from within the UK or not;
- The time limit for bringing your appeal;
- The address to which the appeal needs to be sent;
- Whether there is an exception or limitation to your right of appeal or;
- Whether further information is required under s. 120.
What happens after your notice of the UK visa appeal is lodged?
Once we have filed your appeal forms, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) of the Immigration & Asylum Chamber (IAC) will send you a notice of pending appeal. This notice will formally acknowledge receipt of your appeal. The FTT (IAC) will then issue Directions to all of the parties informing them what they have to do and the deadline. This deadline must comply and any failure to do so could have serious repercussions for the appeal.
One of the Directions the Tribunal will issue will be for the Home Office to forward all records relating to your case. This is the Respondent’s Bundle. This bundle should contain copies of all the documents lodged in support of your initial application. It should also include the application form, the refusal decision and the Notice of Appeal.
Unfortunately, the Home Office always fail to provide a bundle that contains all the documents that were submitted in support of the appeal. On occasions, the Home Office does not provide anything at all.
As the Appellant, you will be required to provide a witness statement and a bundle of documents on which you wish to reply upon at the appeal hearing. This bundle has to be paginated and indexed.
The bundle that is provided by the Appellant to the Tribunal and the Home Office is extremely important because if your appeal is dismissed then you cannot add further evidence without the permission of the Tribunal. Hence the bundle must be comprehensive and deal with all the appropriate issues. We at Breytenbachs are experts in such work and our members of staff have countless years of experience in appeal work and hence we ensure that the bundle is prepared correctly.
Will I need to go to court for my UK visa appeal?
We normally advised our clients to request an oral hearing of their appeal. This will allow them to attend the Tribunal and give live evidence before the Judge. A paper hearing is where the Home Office and Appellant send their bundle of documents to the Tribunal and the Judge makes a decision purely on the papers without hearing live evidence.
If you are in the UK, you will need to attend the oral hearing as a witness. Should you have a sponsor, they may also attend the hearing as a witness. If you are attending the hearing, do allow for the whole day. Appeals are not heard in a specific order. If you, your sponsor or any other witness who may wish to give evidence at your hearing are not fluent in English, the Tribunal will arrange for an interpreter. You will not have to pay for the interpreter. However, if you request an interpreter, you have to do this when the appeal is lodged.
On the day of the hearing
We will ensure that you have the best possible representation at the appeal hearing. To this end, we will book a barrister for you who specialise in Immigration appeals.
During the hearing, you and any other witnesses will be asked questions by your barrister, the Home Office and the Immigration Judge. Hence preparation for the appeal hearing is of paramount importance.
At the end of the hearing, the Judge will usually reserve their decision. We will be notified in writing of the decision.
What happens after the appeal that has come and gone?
If your appeal is allowed, the Home Office can appeal against the determination of the Judge. If the Home Office decide to appeal they will lodge an application with the FTT for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (UT). The UT is a more senior court than the FTT.
If the Home Office lodge an application for Permission to Appeal, the FTT can either grant or refuse the application. If the FTT refuse Permission, then the Home Office can lodge an application for Permission to Appeal directly to the UT. Again, the UT can either grant Permission or refuse it. If UT or the FTT grant Permission then the matter will be listed for a hearing at the UT.
Likewise, if the Appellant’s appeal is dismissed, they too can make an application for Permission to Appeal to the FTT and if that is refused they can make an application for Permission to Appeal to the UT directly.
An application for Permission to Appeal can only be brought if the Judge at the FTT made an error of law.
Please note that there are very strict time limits for lodging Permission applications and we at Breytenbachs will always ensure that all deadlines are complied with.
As is evident, appeal matters require a considerable amount of time and work. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable staff will always ensure that you are provided with the best possible legal advice and representation.
How Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants can help you
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have a dedicated UK Visa Appeal and Review Department. The consultants in this department have exceptional qualifications and many years of experience dealing with appeals and reviews. Our Level 3 OISC registration will give you the peace of mind that professionals are dealing with your case. Please feel free to contact us for more advice.