UK Visa Refusal Appeal Procedure
The UK visa refusal appeal procedure can be a complex process. At A Y & J Solicitors, our lawyers are dedicated, highly experienced and able to help you overcome the difficulties of this appeal process. We take enormous pride in getting to know our clients and taking the time to fully understand their issues so that we can provide the best possible immigration solution.
Many clients who come to us regarding an immigration appeal have spent months, sometimes years fighting a decision by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Not only do we provide the expert advice and representation they need, we also give our clients the confidence that they have a good chance of achieving a positive result on their Appeal.
What is a UK immigration appeal?
Under English law, people who have had a negative decision made by a court / government department which affects their life (such as whether they can enter or leave in the UK), normally have a right to appeal. This is fundamental to the Rule of Law, and we believe it is necessary that migrants have full access to justice by being able to exercise their appeal rights.
Unfortunately, the British government has severely curtailed appeal rights for migrants applying for entry clearance or leave to remain – mainly those applying under the points-based immigration system – and replaced it with Administrative Review rights. Rights of appeal under the points-based system have been removed, except in situations where it is alleged a refusal breaches the applicant’s human rights. Therefore, instructing an experienced lawyer who is familiar with immigration law is crucial, both at the visa application stage and when considering an appeal.
Section 84 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 outlines valid grounds of appeal to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, which are:
- that the decision is not in accordance with immigration rules
- that the decision is unlawful by virtue of Race and Religion Act section 19B
- that the decision is unlawful under the Human Rights Act, ie the decision is incompatible with the Convention rights of the appellant
- that the appellant’s rights under the Community Treaties would be breached because they or a family member are an EEA national
- that the decision is not in accordance with the law (other than immigration rules)
- that discretion should have been exercised differently to how it was legally exercised by the initial decision maker
- that the appellant’s rights under the Refugee Convention and Human Rights Act would be breached were the UK authorities to proceed with removal
Appeal from outside the UK
If you have been refused entry clearance, your appeal must be lodged within 28 calendar days of the date you were sent the notice of decision. If you have to leave the country before you’re allowed to appeal, you have 28 days to appeal once you’ve left the country.
If you apply after the deadline, you must explain why you are appealing out of time, and the tribunal will decide if it can still hear your appeal. The Tribunal will only agree to hear an out-of-time appeal in exceptional circumstances.
How to appeal
The appeal process varies depending on whether you’re submitting the appeal yourself or if a legal professional is submitting the appeal on your behalf.
If you are submitting the appeal yourself:
You can submit your appeal either via post, fax, email or online. However, online appeals are quicker than the alternative methods.
You will need to pay a fee to lodge an appeal. You may not have to pay if you get legal aid. An appeal costs £80 without a hearing and £140 with a hearing.
You will need the following information to lodge an appeal:
- your Home Office reference number – you can find this on your decision letter.
- any documents that will support your application.
- an email address or mobile phone number.
If you appeal via post, fax, or email, you will need to fill in a form. The form which needs to be filled in depends on what type of application has been refused.
Form IAFT-5 must be completed to appeal the following decisions:
- deporting you under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016
- refusing your permit, revoking your permit or deporting you if you’re a frontier worker
- refusing your leave, revoking your leave or deporting you if you’re on an S2 Healthcare Visitor visa
Form IAFT-6 must be completed to appeal the following decisions:
- refusing a human rights claim for entry clearance
- deporting you, refusing or revoking your status, or varying the length or condition of your stay under the EU Settlement Scheme
- refusing or revoking your family permit or travel permit under the EU Settlement Scheme
Form IAFT-7 must be completed to appeal the appeal a decision to refuse a human rights claim or protection claim, where you’ve been told you can only appeal after you’ve left the country.
If a legal professional appealing on your behalf:
If you are in detention or you have been refused settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, the legal professional will need to appeal using a paper form.
For all other cases, an appeal must be lodged online using the MyHMCTS service.
Benefits of a UK Visa Appeal
One benefit of submitting an appeal is that if you submit an appeal from inside the UK within the specified deadline of 14 calendar days, Section 3C will apply. This means that whilst the appeal is pending, you will be prevented from becoming an overstayer. However, for Section 3C to apply, you must have submitted the application which has been refused, whilst you had valid leave to remain in the UK.
Another benefit is that you will have an opportunity to have you case heard before the tribunal, and if the appeal is allowed, the Home Office will amend its original refusal decision.
You may also be able to receive a ‘fee award’ if you win your appeal.
How soon can I reapply following the refusal of my visa?
In some situations where the refusal was justified, the best option may be to submit a fresh application, rather than to appeal the refusal decision.
There is no time limit on how soon the fresh application can be submitted (with certain limitations while on 3c leave or when the right of administrative review is still available). However, it is important that the reasons for refusal can be fully addressed in the fresh application.
How long does the appeal process take?
An appeal process can around 6 to 12 months.
What happens if my appeal is unsuccessful?
You’ll usually get a copy of the immigration and asylum tribunal’s decision within 4 weeks of the hearing. You’ll be given a decision in person or by post.
If the tribunal dismisses your appeal and uphold the Home Office’s original decision, you will have a right to appeal the tribunal’s decision. You can ask the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). You will be given a form to complete with the tribunal’s appeal determination. There is no fee to appeal to the tribunal.
You can only do this if you think there’s has been an ‘error of law’ i.e., a legal mistake with the tribunal’s decision. For example, you think the tribunal:
- did not apply the correct law or wrongly interpreted the law
- did not follow the correct procedures
- had no evidence or not enough evidence to support its decision
You must submit the application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal within 14 days after the date on the written reasons for the decisions (if you are inside the UK) or within 28 days after the date on the written reasons for the decisions (if you’re outside the UK).
What happens if my appeal is allowed?
If your appeal is allowed, the Home Office will amend its original refusal decision, and you would normally be issued with the visa or status you applied for. It is likely that 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.
However, you should also be aware that the Home Office may also seek to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) against the tribunal’s determination. The Home Office will have 28 days to appeal the decision of the tribunal.
You will need to pay a fee to lodge an appeal. You may not have to pay if you get legal aid. An appeal costs:
- £80 without a hearing.
- £140 with a hearing.
How to pay
If you lodge your appeal online, you can pay your appeal fee with either a credit or debit card.
If you lodge your appeal via a form, you can include your payment details on your appeal form.
Urgent appeal applications
If you would like to submit an application for an urgent appeal, you will need to write to the tribunal with:
- the reason why your case should be heard urgently
- evidence of compelling or compassionate grounds, for example letters from a doctor or hospital
You should clearly label the top of all documents being submitted as part of the request with ‘expedite request’.
The application will be reviewed by a judge and decide whether your appeal should be expedited.
Your application will only be reviewed if you’ve paid your tribunal fee (if you need to pay one).
How are the Notices of Hearing and Determinations served on all parties in immigration appeals?
During immigration appeals, parties include the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, the Respondent (the Secretary of State, Entry Clearance Officer or Visa Officer depending on the type of appeal), the appellant and in some cases, the legal representation of the appellant, i.e. a firm of solicitors. Your solicitor will prepare appellant’s bundles and serve them to all relevant parties. The Home Office also has duty to serve a respondent’s bundle to all relevant parties. Once the appeal has been lodged and a certificate of fee satisfaction issued, the tribunal will send a copy of the notice of appeal and any accompanying documents to the Home Office and issue a notice of hearing and directions.
Why choose A Y & J Solicitors for your immigration appeal after a UK visa refusal?
A Y & J Solicitors is regulated by SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and can help with every aspect of an immigration appeal. We will prepare the necessary paperwork and represent you before the tribunal.
Our team has extensive experience with appeals on a variety of technicalities including the points-based system, human rights visa applications, EEA Applications Appeal, Appendix FM applications and we approach each case with the expert attention and intervention that is needed for the best possible outcome. Our past successes include quite complex and difficult appeal matters but our clients always benefit from our ability to break down legal concepts into everyday language.
In each case, we provide clients with excellent customer service and a transparent fee structure with no hidden charges or extra costs. We offer caring service throughout the entire process from initial consultation until the hearing and the ultimate resolution.
We can accommodate our clients in a variety of ways, including in-house consultations at our central London office, or online / telephone/skype meetings. Our team and lawyers know some international languages, including Indian (incl. Hindi & Gujarati), Romanian, Albanian, Italian, French.
If your appeal succeeds before a First-tier Immigration Tribunal, you may be awarded the costs you have paid at the time of lodging the appeal, i.e. £140
The time it takes to conclude your appeal will depend on the complexities of your case. It sometimes takes several months. However, it is important to note that we try our best to resolve matters before a tribunal hearing takes place.
Statutory’ or ‘section 3C’ leave is intended to protect a person who makes an application for leave to remain while they have existing leave (i.e. where they have made an in-time application). Section 3C leave continues during any period when:
- a) an in-country appeal could be brought (ignoring any possibility of an appeal out of time with permission)
- b) the appeal is pending (within the meaning of section 104 of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2002), i.e. it has been lodged and has not been finally determined.
By choosing A Y & J Solicitors to handle your appeal, you can be confident we will ensure your legal right to remain in the UK is protected, wherever possible.
A Y & J Solicitors’ Review
My experience with A Y & J Solicitors was really good. Very detailed and knowledgeable. All my questions were answered on time. They are very approachable and friendly. I would highly recommend them – it may be very simple query or a very complex case; you can trust them.
Having found myself in a rather sticky situation I was desperate for advice/help/guidance. I found A Y & J Solicitors through a friend and with in minutes into my first phone call to them, felt a sense of tremendous peace of mind which I had longed for. Mr Yash spoke very professionally and together with his team went on to do the almost impossible and secure an ‘Out of time’ extremely complicated Tier 2 application for myself and a spouse visa for my wife. Yes they are expensive. But their services are well worth it. They are direct & almost every step of the way they were transparent and kept me updated on the status as and when they knew anything. With out a doubt, I can easily say that our experience with them has been fantastic and would highly recommend their services to any one i know that is looking for a good immigration solicitor. Keep up the excellent work Mr. Yash. God Bless. Thumbs up to the excellent team they have.
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Success Story on UK Visa Refusal Appeal
Successful Adult Dependant Relative Visa Appeal for Elderly Parent
Mrs. R is a NON-EU national over 70 years old and was living outside the UK. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with a disease of the nervous system characterised by muscle weakness which affects muscles that control her limbs, eyes, neck, swallowing, and breathing. There is no cure for this disease, but it…
Video on UK Visa Refusal Appeal
UK Immigration Appeal Process
We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.
Today I want to talk to you about UK immigration appeal.
You might be able to appeal to the First-tier TRIBUNAL if the Home Office has refused your ‘asylum claim’, human rights claim or made a decision under the EEA Regulations.
The tribunal is INDEPENDENT of government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.
If you are having a full right of appeal, then you should consider seeking legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer.
Let me share as to how we deal with the appeals at A Y & J Solicitors.
The first step is to review your case and find out the chances of success for an appeal, the fees involved and the recommended approach to your appeal.
It’s not always advisable to appeal a decision, so make sure you have an expert advice before moving forward.
You will then be asked to gather documents and information to support your appeal. It’s important
that this is done quickly, because the deadline for appeal is short and inflexible.
Next, the hearing preparation begins. Let me summarize this in 5 points.
Point 1 includes compiling evidence to support your appeal,
Point 2 includes the skeleton argument your lawyer prepares in your defence,
Point 3 includes any examples of case law that are pertinent,
Point 4 includes any violation of the Home Office’s policy guidance, and
Point 5 includes a detailed statement of your situation that is completely accurate in showing your circumstances.
Your lawyer will then help you get ready by reviewing all information and any questions you may be asked during your hearing.
Now, at the hearing stage, there is a set structure.
First you will have a pre-hearing conference with your lawyer to help you feel confident and calm. Next, a brief meeting takes place between your lawyer and the presenting officer of the Home Office. Occasionally a favourable decision could arise from this meeting, and the hearing could be shortened to a decision. If a decision could not be made, the skeleton argument is handed to the judge, and your case is presented. You will be asked questions by your lawyer and by the Home Office. Then after, closing submissions are heard from the both sides. The hearing would be concluded with a private meeting with your lawyer to ensure that you understand everything that was discussed.
Usually a decision about your appeal is given later and is received in writing. After you receive this decision, you meet with your lawyer —hopefully to celebrate your upcoming Visa!
The appeal process is technical and often complex, if you have any questions or require our assistance, please get in touch. We’ve processed many successful appeals, and we can help you too. Our contact details are at the bottom of this video.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.