If you have received a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revocation letter and the reasons for the Home Office’s decision are illegal, procedurally unfair, disproportionate or irrational, challenging the decision by way of Judicial review may resolve your situation.
Judicial review is not about whether a decision is fair or even right. Rather, it investigates whether the process the Home Office used when reaching the decision was valid. You can read general information from the government on judicial reviews here.
Challenging a Home Office immigration decision via judicial review is complex, and you will need to instruct an experienced immigration law solicitor to ensure you receive the best advice and representation.
To assist you, we have created this step-by-step guide to bring a judicial review claim if your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence has been revoked.
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Ensure you understand exactly why your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence was revoked. This should be listed in your letter from Home Office. Read it very carefully and have it examined by an experienced immigration solicitor. If you were not given any reason for the revocation, you would already have a pretty strong case for judicial review.
Know the laws at the time the revocation was issued. You might need an expert immigration solicitor for this step. Immigration law is notoriously fluid, and the government will often sneak harsh or unpopular rules and regulations in quietly to avoid a media and public backlash.
Gather all evidence to support your case. You must have solid proof of your position. This may include documents, records, witness statements, and evidence of the economic impact to your company and employees as a result of the revocation.
Attempt to resolve the issue with Home Office through negotiation. Submit a legal representation that includes your position, and why the revocation is not valid. Include a time frame for a response (14 days is recommended). Again, it is best to do this through an immigration solicitor as they will be able to write the letter in the correct manner, collate the supporting evidence and negotiate robustly on your behalf.
If you do not receive a favourable response or receive no response at all, the next step is to apply for permission for judicial review of the decision to revoke your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.
All evidence supporting your claim must be submitted to both the Administrative Court and the Home Office. This is a critical step that may lead to success or failure of a judicial review. By working closely with an immigration solicitor who is qualified to present cases in the High Court, you maximise your chances of success. Your application must contain compelling proof that the Home Office has made an incorrect decision based on the grounds of illegality, procedural impropriety, unreasonableness or disproportionality.
Often at this point, UKVI will respond with an offer of negotiation, a request for you to resubmit an application, or (the best outcome for you) a withdrawal of their decision. The stronger your case, the more likely this outcome is. This is one of the reasons it is crucial to instruct an experienced immigration lawyer to run your judicial review case from the beginning. Judicial review cases are expensive; therefore, a smart solicitor will do everything in their power to settle the matter before it reaches court.
Keep in mind that UKVI does not want to go to court any more than you do. If they have made errors in their decision, it’s in their best interests to settle early. It is also worth remembering that in most judicial review cases, the loser is ordered to pay costs to the winner. This can deter those with a weak case from pursuing this avenue of action.
If the Home Office chooses to hold their position, they have 14 days to file a response to your application. The judge will review all information and decide whether to proceed with a judicial review. You must have exhausted all other legal options before a judicial review will be granted.
If the judge does not allow the hearing, you still have some options. Your immigration solicitor will advise you on next steps.
If things get this far, a judicial review hearing will take place. Both sides will present their case in full to the judge. You are not required to attend court (unless you wish to), and it is rare to be called as a witness. Often witness statements are prepared in advance to be presented at the hearing, so the only people in attendance are the counsel and the judge.
A few weeks after the hearing, the judge will grant their decision. Having a strong case in which it is proven that Home Office has acted outside the law, or failed to act when the law requires it, will generally lead to a favourable decision. However, if you are unsuccessful, you may be able to appeal.
Holding the Home Office accountable and ensuring that all their staff properly exercise their legislative powers, is an important component of the UK justice system. It is important to note that the Administrative Court does not have the power to state you are innocent of the accusations that led to your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence being revoked. However, it can order the decision to be quashed, and the case can be sent back to the original decision maker with a direction to re-make the decision in light of the court’s findings.
We are Here to Help
At A Y & J Solicitors we are dedicated to providing quality advice and representation to our clients. We are known for our educated, creative, and tireless approach to each case. If you’ve received a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Revocation letter, we’re here to help. We will provide you with an honest evaluation of your situation, and advise on the best approach to take. Each case is followed to completion, whether negotiations are successful, or a full judicial review must be taken.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.