UK Immigration Appeal: waiting time, visa decisions, success rate

UK Immigration Appeal Waiting Time 2018This relates to UK Immigration Appeal waiting time, visa decisions and success rate from 2010 to 2018. Therefore, the post provides information about UK visa appeal waiting and processing time for First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). Moreover, provides information about UK visa appeal success rate and immigration appeal tribunal decisions from 2010 to Q3 2018. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  1. First Tier Tribunal: UK Immigration Appeal Waiting Time 2018
    • First Tier Tribunal Appeal Processing Time 2016 and 2017
    • News Media Reports and UK Visa Appeal Processing Time 2016-17
    • British Parliament Report on UK Visa Appeal Waiting Time 2010-17
  2. UK Immigration Appeal Success Rate is 50% during 2017-18
    • Asylum Appeals Success Rate during 2013-16
  3. UK Immigration Appeal Success Rate and Tribunal Decisions 2010-18
  4. First Tier Tribunal (FTTIAC) Immigration Appeal Decisions
  5. Upper Tribunal (UTIAC) Immigration Appeal Decisions

Please note: UK immigration appeals relate to Asylum/Protection  (including Asylum, Protection and Revocation of Protection), Managed Migration, Entry Clearance Officer (such as spouse visa appeal timeline 2018), Family Visit Visa,  Human Rights, EEA Free Movement, Deportation and Deprivation of Citizenship appeals.

If your past application has been refused then please note that processing time for an Administrative Review is usually 28 working days, whereas the waiting time for Appeals and Judicial Reviews is around 6 to 12 months.

1) UK Visa Appeal Waiting and Processing Time 2018

During January to March 2018, the UK Immigration Appeal Waiting Time 2018 from the receipt of an appeal to the hearing in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and  Asylum Chamber) (FTTIAC) has been 37 weeks i.e. approx 9-10 months.

The UK immigration appeal processing time has improved in the first quarter of 2018. The average waiting time has reduced from 45 weeks in 2017 to 37 weeks. This is due to the reduction in the caseload, which has nearly halved from 64,800 to 36,300 during June 2016 and March 2018. Further improvement is expected in the coming months.

Age of Case25% point50% point (median)75 % pointAverage (mean)
2016/1727 weeks or less48 weeks or lessOver 52 weeks46 weeks
2017/1821 weeks or lessOver 52 weeksOver 52 weeks50 weeks
Difference6 weeks decreaseOver 4 weeks increase-4 weeks increase
Oct-Dec 201722 weeks or less50 weeks or lessOver 52 weeks50 weeks
Oct-Dec 201818 weeks or less33 weeks or less49 weeks or less39 weeks
Difference4 weeks decrease17 weeks decrease3 weeks decrease11 weeks decrease
All18 weeks or less33 weeks or less49 weeks or less39 weeks
Asylum/Protection (1)8 weeks or less17 weeks or less36 weeks or less27 weeks
Managed Migration52 weeks or more52 weeks or more52 weeks or more127 weeks
Entry Clearance Officer52 weeks or more52 weeks or more52 weeks or more276 weeks
Family Visit Visa----
Human Rights27 weeks or less36 weeks or less51 weeks or less41 weeks
EEA Free Movement25 weeks or less36 weeks or less52 weeks or more46 weeks
Other (2)13 weeks or less24 weeks or less41 weeks or less33 weeks

1) Includes Asylum, Protection and Revocation of Protection. 2) Includes Deportation and Deprivation of Citizenship appeals

First Tier Tribunal Appeal Processing Time 2016 and 2017

According to the official statistics, the average visa appeal waiting time during 2015/16 and 2016/17 has been 34 and 46 weeks, respectively. Therefore, there have been 12 weeks increase in the average appeal waiting time in 2016/17.

During 2016/17, the waiting time for 25%, 50% and 75% of the appeals had increased by 7, 16 and 7 weeks, respectively. Nevertheless, it is important to note that despite an unprecedented escalation in waiting time during 2016/17, quite a few appeals were disposed of by First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) within the normal 6-9 months time frame.

25 Per cent Appeals Cleared within 20-27 weeks or less

Disposal of 25 per cent of the appeals instituted within 20 and 27 weeks or less during 2015/16 and 2016/17, respectively. Moreover, during the second quarter 2017/18, 25% of the appeals cleared within 22 weeks or less.

50 Per Cent Appeals (Median) Cleared within 32-48 weeks or less

Disposal of 50 per cent of the appeals was instituted within 32 and 48 weeks or less during 2015/16 and 2016/17, respectively.

75 Per Cent Appeals Cleared within 45-52 weeks

In 2015/16, 75 per cent of the appeals disposed within 45 weeks or less. However, in 2016/17, 75% of the appeals decided within 52 weeks or less week.

News Media Reports on UK Visa Appeal Processing Time 2016-17

However, according to news reports, during 2016-17 the average duration of an UK immigration appeal in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) increased to 51 weeks i.e. one year, from 35 weeks i.e. 8 months, during 2015-2016 due to the focus of the Tribunal to reduce outstanding caseload and to clear older cases during June 2016 and Dec 2017. Accordingly, the outstanding caseload reduced significantly during the aforesaid period from 64,800 to 35,100 immigration appeals. Therefore, once the backlog of pending immigration appeals is reduced then it is expected that the appeal processing time may be reduced.

Fresh Appeals

Since nearly half of the appeal cases are successful, therefore, the increase in the gestation time from 35 to 51 weeks means that many applicants are forced to wait and “put their life on hold” even though they have a right to be in the UK. The increase in UK immigration appeal waiting times comes in spite of a reduction in the number of fresh appeals lodged, which has plummeted from 25,000 in 2014 to 7,000 in 2017.

British Parliament Report on UK Visa Appeal Waiting Time 2010-17

According to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice Lucy Frazer since 2010 till March 2018, the average yearly waiting time for an immigration tribunal appeal (in the recent past aka UKBA appeal processing time) hearing has oscillated between 14 to 45 weeks with the following yearly break-up:

  • 2010 – 16 weeks
  • 2011 – 14 weeks
  • 2012 – 14 weeks
  • 2013 – 20 weeks
  • 2014 – 25 weeks
  • 2015 – 24 weeks
  • 2016 – 43 weeks
  • 2017 – 45 weeks

Here it is important to note that in Feb 2010, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (FTTIAC) & Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (UTIAC), Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, replaced the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT).

2) During 2017-18 the UK Appeal Success Rate is 50%

According to official statistics, the UK immigration appeal success rate was 50 per cent during 2017/18, which is quite encouraging for those who intend to challenge refusal decision, especially spouse visa refusal from outside the UK. An interesting comparison of the UK immigration appeal success rate is with the success rate for Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 Work and Tier 4 Student Administrative Review, which is less than 20% as it is a peer group review. However, a subsequent Judicial Review can be more effective after an unsuccessful administrative review.

Asylum Appeals Success Rate during 2013-16

According to a research conducted relating to 36,000 asylum appeals heard from Jan 2013 to Sept 2016, the success rates of asylum appeals varied from highs of 47% at Taylor House and 44% at Newport to lows of 24%at Harmondsworth and Belfast and 21% at Yarl’s Wood.

The full breakdown of the success rate and the number of appeals at each hearing centre is: Belfast 24% Success Rate, 292 Cases Birmingham 34% 4,177 Bradford 41% 2,903 Glasgow 28% 1,979 Harmondsworth 24% 1,196 Hatton Cross 40% 6,414 Hendon 39% 72 Manchester 34% 4,428 Newport 44% 3,083 North Shields 30% 1,848 Nottingham 39% 140 Richmond 43% 299 Stoke 36% 1,923 Taylor House 47% 7,488 Yarl’s Wood 21% 125.

The lack of a legal representative was found to be a key factor for the variance in success rates.

3) UK Appeal Decisions and Success Rate 2010-18

According to Official Statistics, from 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18, the total number of first-tier tribunal immigration decisions were 580,851. However, during the same period, upper tribunal immigration appeal decided 51,454 immigration appeals. Moreover, the UK immigration appeal tribunal decisions relate to:

  • Managed Migration
  • Entry Clearance
  • Family Visit Visa
  • Deportation
  • Deprivation of Citizenship
  • Asylum, Protection
  • Revocation of Protection
  • Human Rights
  • EEA Free Movement

However, a number of appeals were turned down during 2010-18. Consequently, the immigration appeal success rate for first-tier tribunal immigration decisions is 45.10%. Whereas, the UK immigration appeal success rate for upper tribunal immigration appeal decisions is 37.70%.

Furthermore, an appellant can file an Appeal against First Tier Tribunal Decision in the UTIAC. Therefore, the UK immigration appeals decided by UTIAC largely represents the refused immigration appeals in the FTTIAC. Consequently, the UK Visa Appeal Success Rate is approx. close to 48.44% during 2010-18.

Home Office loses 75% of immigration appeals: The Guardian

According to a news report published in the Guardian, the Home Office loses 75% of UK immigration appeals.

Home Office loses 75% of its appeals against immigration rulings | The Guardian

Nearly three-quarters of final immigration court appeals brought by the Home Office against rulings allowing asylum seekers and other migrants to stay in the UK are dismissed, according to figures seen by the Guardian.

In the year from April 2017 to March 2018, 11,974 cases were determined in court, with 4,332 of the Home Office’s decisions being overturned.

Of those decisions granting leave to remain, the Home Office then referred 1,235 to the upper tribunal for further appeal, with 900 (73%) rejected by an independent judge, according to a freedom of information response.

4) First Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber Decisions

The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) has the jurisdiction to handle appeals against certain decisions made by the Home Office. Accordingly, the decisions mostly relate to entry clearance, deportation and permission to stay in the United Kingdom. Moreover, the Tribunal also has jurisdiction over immigration bail.

First Tier Tribunal: UK Visa Appeal Decisions 2010-2018

Table 2 provides the details yearly details of receipts, disposals and determinations by First Tier Tribunal Immigration & Asylum Chamber (FTTIAC). From 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18 the total number of receipts and disposals were 732,763 and 773,604, respectively. During the period the First Tier Tribunal Decided 580,851 immigration appeals on oral hearings and on papers.

Table 2 – First Tier Tribunal UK Immigration Appeal Decisions 2010-18
YearReceiptsDisposalsDecisions
2010/11146,104162,204130,880
2011/12122,371132,649100,720
2012/13103,92398,73368,187
2013/14104,996100,12267,471
2014/1591,62791,42166,262
2015/1676,92069,69652,068
2016/1754,43969,18454,585
Q1 2017/187,84717,58414,170
Q2 2017/189,65417,20314,113
Q3 2017/1814,88214,80812,395
Total732,763773,604580,851

First Tier Tribunal: UK Visa Appeal Decisions by Category

Table 3 provides the details of the UK immigration appeals by category, which indicates that during 2010-2018 most receipts (235,791), disposals (255,838) and First Tier Tribunal decisions (203,390) relate to Managed Migration.

Moreover, apart from managed migration, the First Tier Tribunal also decides considerable immigration appeals cases relating to Family Visit Visa (127,430), Entry Clearance (100,918) and Asylum, Protection, Revocation of Protection (98,817)Accordingly, since 2015/16 the First Tier Tribunal is in receipt of 611 immigration appeals relating to EEA Free Movement. Probably, the quantum of EEA immigration appeals may increase in future due to Brexit.

Table 3 – FTTIAC UK Immigration Appeal Decisions by Category 2010-18
CategoryReceiptsDisposalsDecisions
Managed Migration235,791255,838203,390
Entry Clearance127,667146,862100,918
Family Visit Visa160,728188,463127,430
Deport and others (Category Discontinues in 2015/16 Note 1)7,8137,7416,743
Deportation Appeals (Category Started from 2015/16 Note 2)1,9392,3882,012
Deprivation of Citizenship (Category Started from 2015/16)9910690
Asylum/Protection/Revocation of Protection (Note 3 & 4)108,705110,10198,817
Human Rights (Category Started from 2014/16 Note 3)61,27042,27728,268
EEA Free Movement (Category Started from 2015/16 Note 3)28,75119,82813,183
Total732,763773,604580,851

First Tier Tribunal: UK Visa Appeal Success Rate

Table 4 provides the details of the First Tier Tribunal Appeals Success and Refusal Rate from 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18. The average UK visa appeal success rate is 44.52%. Moreover, on a yearly basis, the UK immigration appeal refusal rate was lowest at 50.00% in Q 3 2017/18. Table 3 also indicates that perhaps the UK immigration appeal success rate reached nadir 39.00% in 2015/16.

Table 4 – First Tier Tribunal: UK Immigration Appeal Success Rate
Total580,85144.52%55.48%
YearDecisionsAllowed%Dismissed%
2010/11130,88048.50%51.50%
2011/12100,72045.07%54.93%
2012/1368,18744.00%56.00%
2013/1467,47144.00%56.00%
2014/1566,26240.00%60.00%
2015/1652,06839.00%61.00%
2016/1754,58543.00%57.00%
Q1 2017/1814,17047.00%53.00%
Q2 2017/1814,11349.00%51.00%
Q3 2017/1812,39550.00%50.00%

5) Upper Tribunal (UTIAC) Immigration Appeal Decisions

The UTIAC has the responsibility to handle appeals against decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) relating to:

  • the right to enter or stay in the UK
  • asylum applications
  • visa applications

Similarly, the upper chamber also handles applications relating to judicial review. However, the judicial review applications usually relate to immigration, asylum and human rights claims.

Upper Tribunal Appeal Decisions 2010-18

Table 5 provides the details yearly details of receipts, disposals and determinations by Upper Tribunal Immigration & Asylum Chamber (UTIAC). From 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18 the total number of receipts and disposals were 62,933and 63,788, respectively. Accordingly, during the period UTIAC determined 51,454 UK immigration appeals at hearing/papers.

Table 5 – Upper Tribunal: UK Immigration Appeal Decisions 2010-18
Total62,93363,78851,454
YearReceiptsDisposalsDecisions
2010/118,9657,3166,621
2011/129,6319,0738,380
2012/137,2249,5608,086
2013/147,7128,9027,407
2014/159,2028,6546,875
2015/167,9708,0665,854
2016/176,2767,3935,102
Q1 2017/181,7811,6521,173
Q2 2017/181,9431,585970
Q3 2017/182,2291,587986

Upper Tribunal Appeal Decisions by Category

Table 6 provides the details of the UK immigration appeals by category and case type. Moreover, Table 6 indicates that most receipts (27,918), disposals (28,663) and determinations relate to Managed Migration (23,535). Furthermore, Table 5 also indicates that UTAIC determines a considerable number of immigration appeals relating to Family Visit Visa (3,072) and  Asylum, Protection, Revocation of Protection (12,713). Accordingly, since 2016/17 UTAIC has received 611 immigration appeals relating to EEA Free Movement. Perhaps, this indicates that appeals relating to EEA Free Movement may increase in future due to Brexit.

Table 6 – Upper Tribunal: UK Immigration Appeal Decisions by Category 2010-18
Total62,93363,78851,454
CategoryReceiptsDisposalsDecisions
Managed Migration27,91828,66323,535
Entry Clearance9,47810,2129,101
Family Visit Visa3,1703,3573,072
Deport and others (Category Discontinues in 2015/16 Note 1)1,7101,5171,278
Deportation Appeals (Category Started from 2015/16 Note 2)661860615
Deprivation of Citizenship (Category Started from 2015/16)252018
Asylum/Protection/Revocation of Protection (Note 3 & 4)17,17117,51012,713
Human Rights (Category Started from 2014/16 Note 3)2,1891,326872
EEA Free Movement (Note 5)611323250

Upper Tribunal: Average Success Rate

Table 7 provides the details of the UK Immigration Appeals Success and Refusal Rate from 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18. Accordingly, the average UK visa appeal success rate is 37.68%which indicates that more than one out of three immigration appeals are successful. Moreover, on a yearly basis, the immigration appeal refusal rate was lowest (52.30%) in 2010/11. Table 6 also indicates that perhaps the UK immigration appeal success rate reached nadir (29.00%) in 2015/16.

Upper Tribunal: UK Appeal Success Rate 2018

During the first three-quarters of 2017/18, the UK visa appeal success rate is hovering the range of 29-31%, which is lower than average success rate of 37.68% during 2010-2018.

Table 7 – Upper Tribunal: UK Immigration Appeal Success Rate 2010-18
Total51,45437.68%62.32%
YearDecisionsAllowed%Dismissed%
2010/116,62147.70%52.30%
2011/128,38046.28%53.72%
2012/138,08638.80%61.20%
2013/147,40737.00%63.00%
2014/156,87532.00%68.00%
2015/165,85429.00%71.00%
2016/175,10232.00%68.00%
Q1 2017/181,17331.00%69.00%
Q2 2017/1897030.00%70.00%
Q3 2017/1898629.00%71.00%

Note 1) Includes Deportation and Deprivation of Citizenship appeals up to and including 2014/15. Due to the introduction of the Immigration Act 2014, this category was discontinued in Q1 2015/16
Note 2) Deportation appeal is now for Foreign National Offenders who are EEA nationals only following the introduction of the Immigration Act 2014. Foreign National Offenders who are not EEA nationals can only now lodge appeals against deportation orders using one of the new appeals rights introduced by the Immigration Act 2014.
Note 3) The Immigration Act 2014 removed a number of appeal rights against Home Office and introduced new categories: Protection, Human Rights, EEA Free Movement and Revocation of Protection
Note 4) In addition to Asylum appeals, this column includes appeals relating to Protection and Revocation of Protection which were introduced as part of the Immigration Act 2014

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