Challenging an immigration decision may be a daunting task and the ever changing rules on the rights of appeal do not make it any easier.
When instructed to represent you in an immigration appeal, we try as much as possible to take the stress off your shoulders.
Our work includes drafting the grounds of appeal, preparing the bundle of the appellant’s documents, drafting witness statements, instructing expert witnesses if necessary, and putting together evidence so as to present your case at its strongest. We will represent you in court and will correspond with the post appeal decision team until your documents are issued.
Our work starts with advising appellants on the merits of their case, the applicable deadlines and procedures to follow.
The rules governing the rights of appeal in immigration matters are extremely complex and it is worth noting that after the immigration reform only a small minority of decisions can be challenged on appeal.
Immigration decisions which bear the right of appeal are related to situations where the underlying application has raised Human Rights issues. This includes applications for entry clearance or leave to remain as the spouse of a settled person or applications for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence. Refusal to issue a family permit or an EEA residence document also bears the right of appeal. However, following the decision of the Upper Tribunal in Sala (EFMs: Appeal Rights) there is controversy as to the right of appeal by extended family members of EU nationals.
It is worth noting that applications under any category of the Points Based System are considered to be outside the ambit of Human Rights and refusals can only be challenged by administrative review.
How appeals are lodged
An immigration appeal is lodged on a prescribed form (IAFT-5 form for in-country appeals or IAFT-6 form for appeals against decisions of the Entry Clearance Office). The form should include a statement of the grounds of appeal and be signed by either the appellant or the appellant’s legal representative.
An appeal against the decision of the Home Office (in-country appeal) has to be lodged within 14 calendar days from the date of the decision (the Home Office often erroneously states that it is 10 business days from the date of service). Out of country appeals where the decision is a refusal to issue entry clearance or a family permit have to be lodged within 28 days of the date of the decision.
There is a fee of £140 for an appeal to the First-tier tribunal. Where the appeal is made on behalf of more than one appellant an appeal form is filed for each appellant and the fees are paid with each submitted appeal.