UK Immigration Appeals Procedure

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.

How it works

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.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you take your next career step !

Reach out to us for more information or to see how we can help you?