These days good news is when bad news is revoked. From today Immigration Tribunal fees will be charged at the old rate as set out in the Tribunal Fees order of 2011.
In an unprecedented move the government has confirmed that from today tribunal fees will be charged at the level set before the infamous raise of appeal fees last month. Those who paid higher fees will be reimbursed the difference. Parliamentary statement can be found here.
Secondary legislation to formalise the reversal of the Fees Order is not yet in place, however the decision to reverse the fees increase has immediate effect and legislation will follow.
Just to remind those concerned: First-tier immigration tribunal fee for an oral hearing goes back to £180. Those who have paid £800 will be refunded the difference. Those who have lodged the appeal but have not yet made the payment will be charged £180.
Paper hearing appeals will revert to £80 per hearing. Those who have paid £490 will be refunded the difference.
The fees will be reviewed along with the plans of introducing charges for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal and for hearings in the Upper Tribunal. There will be another consultation on these matters, but for now the fees will stay at the former level.
There is a fee waiver for those who received a destitution waiver of Home Office fee in their initial application, for parents of children receiving support from local authorities and those appealing the decision to revoke their refugee status or humanitarian protection. In exceptional circumstances the Lord Chancellor has to the power to remit or reduce the fees.
As only a small handful of decision bears the right of appeal, the main victims of fees increase have been EEA nationals and their family members, as well as spouses and partners of British citizens.