UK Immigration Appeal Process: Appealing Against UK Visa Refusal

The relates to UK Immigration Appeal Process for appealing against a UK visa refusal under Section 82 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which provides the details of Right of appeal against an ‘immigration decision’ such as refusal of entry clearance and leave to enter the UK, spouse visa refusal, refusal to vary leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, appeal against a deportation or removal order etc.

Appealing UK Visa Refusal: UK Immigration Appeal Process

UK Immigration Appeal Process- Appealing Against UK Visa Refusal

In terms of Immigration (Notices) Regulations, 2003 a written notice is required to be intimated to an applicant for an immigration decision that attracts a right of appeal.

Lodge an Immigration Appeal

Accordingly, if the applicant deems appropriate then can lodge an immigration appeal against an immigration refusal decision with the tribunal within the deadline period. An appeal needs to be filed as soon as possible as the maximum period allowed after the notice of appeal is 14 days for in-country appeals, 5 days for detention appeals and 28 days for appeals from outside the UK.

Directions of the Appeals Tribunal

Once an immigration appeal is lodged, the tribunal will issue an acknowledge receipt and give “directions” that are the legal instructions from a judge to the two parties to the appeal i.e. the Appellant and the Respondent. The applicant is the Appellant, and the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) is the Respondent to an Appeal.

Immigration Tribunal Appeal Bundle

The directions instruct the Respondent to file and serve the required evidence on which Respondent will be relying on during the appeal hearing. This evidence is presented in a bundle of documents – referred to as the Respondent’s bundle. The Applicant’s bundle is usually referred to as the Appellant’s Bundle.

The Respondent’s bundle must include:

  • application form(s);
  • copies of documents that had been submitted with the application of the appellant;
  • a copy of the reasons for the refusal; and
  • a copy of an Entry Clearance Manager’s (ECM) review, if it is available;

Documents are often missing in the Respondent’s Bundle. Moreover, it is often not indexed and paginated. Tribunal judges usually are tolerant of failings of an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO); however, an appellant should not expect such level of tolerance.

Immigration Appeal Hearing Date

An immigration appeal hearing date is scheduled by the court, and the Respondent’s Bundle is required to be received before the deadline, instructed in the directions, but such might not always happen. In some occasions, the Respondent will not provide the bundle until the hearing date. If the Respondent altogether fails to produce a bundle a judge is likely to adjourn an appeal; however, if an Appellant fails to provide a bundle the appeal is most likely to be dismissed.

The Appellant’s Bundle is required to be submitted to the Home Office lawyers and the tribunal well before the hearing, usually five (5) working days of the hearing date.

Immigration Appeal Decision Waiting Time

The hearing will eventually take place. The judge usually does not announce the outcome of the hearing, but this sometimes does happen. Normally an applicant receives a written decision within two or three weeks after the hearing.

After that, either a visa will be granted if the appeal is allowed or in a case of an adverse decision the appeal can be lodged with the Upper Tribunal.

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Related: UK Visa Refusals: How to Challenge Decisions?TOEIC Test Court Decision and UK Visa Appeals – Legal Framework