UK immigration appeal FAQs, waiting times and success rate!

UK Immigration Appeal Waiting Time 2018This guidance tries to answer the frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to UK visa and immigration appeal process and procedure, time limits, tribunal decisions, waiting and processing time and also success rate during 2010-18. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  1. FAQs relating to UK visa and immigration appeals
  2. How to lodge an appeal against a refusal decision?
  3. FAQs relating to the UK immigration appeals process
  4. What are the UK visa and immigration appeal processing times?
  5. What is the UK visa and immigration appeal success rate?

1) FAQs relating to UK visa and immigration appeals

This section tries to answer the following FAQS relating to UK immigration appeal:

  1. What is the UK immigration appeal tribunal legal framework?
  2. How UK immigration appeals system prevents abuse of the system?
  3. What is the difference between an oral or paper hearings?
  4. What is a suspensive and non-suspensive right of appeal?
  5. How much is the UK immigration appeal fee?
  6. What are the immigration appeal time limits and decision time?
  7. Can an appellant file a late immigration appeal?
  8. What is immigration status while an appeal is pending in the UK?

What is the UK immigration appeal tribunal legal framework?

Apparently, for filing immigration appeals against a decision the legal framework consists of two tribunal tiers i.e. the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. Quite indeed, HM’s Courts & Tribunals Service manages both the tribunals. And the immigration and asylum chambers are responsible for UK visa and immigration appeals.

Where an appellant can initially lodge an appeal?

In fact, an appellant needs to initially lodge an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal. Perhaps, the First-tier tribunal can either allow or dismiss a UK immigration appeal. However, the decision can be challenged in the Upper Tribunal. Here it is important to note that the Upper Tribunal is the superior court of record. And it is a separate body from First Tier Tribunal. Accordingly, the decisions are made by the judges of Upper Tribunal only. Therefore, the Upper Tribunal can decide whether the First-tier Tribunal has made a mistake of law. And if the First-Tier Tribunal it has made a mistake of law, then the Upper Tribunal can also direct the first-tier tribunal to remake its decision.

What are the onward rights of appeal in the UK?

In fact, an appellant initially needs to seek permission to appeal from Upper Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber). However, If permission is denied then an appellant can proceed directly to the appellate court of the applicable jurisdiction. Perhaps, the domestic onward rights of appeal are derived from where the most recent hearing has taken place. Accordingly, the onward rights of appeals are made at the appropriate jurisdiction i.e.

  1. The Court of Appeal in England and Wales
  2. Court of Session in Scotland
  3. Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland

Moreover, if necessary then further onward rights of appeal are addressed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

UK visa and Immigration appeal procedure and process

UK visa and immigration appeal procedure and process

How UK immigration appeals system prevents abuse of the system?

Apparently, the UK immigration appeals system contains quite a few controls to prevent the abuse of the system. Importantly, there are mechanisms to prevent representations giving rise to repeat, clearly unfounded or late claims. Perhaps, only to delay removal and deportation.

How Section 120 Notice prevents the abuse of the appeal system?

In fact, the Home Office can serve a written one-stop notice under Section 120 of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which:

  • requires an appellant to state all the reasons (outside the scope of the original application) for leave to enter or remain in the UK. Perhaps, also including grounds for not removing the appellant
  • warns the appellant of the penalties for not complying with the requirement

Section 120 notice to applicants with a right of appeal

Indeed, the Home Office often serves a Section 120 Notice even when there is no obligation to do so. Perhaps, mostly in case of in-country refusal decisions with a right of appeal. Apparently, there is no limit to the number of times a person can be served with a one-stop notice.

Section 120 notice to overstayers and illegal entrants

In fact, the Home Office can also serve one-stop notice under Section 120 to someone who has not made an application. For instance, a person who may be removed as an overstayer or illegal entrant. Therefore, if an application by such a person is refused and the refusal attracts an in-country right of appeal then notice of decision may contain a paragraph elucidating the one-stop notice under Section 120 of the 2002-Act.

Moreover, for entry clearance or leave to remain applications relating to human rights, protection claim, removals, deportations, the one-stop notice under Section 120, allows the applicant to raise any additional reasons or grounds (other than those already raised in the application). Perhaps, the additional grounds may permit an applicant to remain in the UK or get a right of appeal. However, if the applicant does not respond to the Home Office notice but makes a late claim and the claims are refused, then it is certified under section 96 of the 2002 Act. Accordingly, the person will have no right of appeal in the United Kingdom.

What is the difference between an oral or paper hearings?

If an appellant (representative) plan to attend the hearing then can opt for an oral hearing of the UK immigration appeal. However, if no one intends to attend the visa appeal then may opt for a paper hearing- determines on the papers. Perhaps, an oral hearing provides a better opportunity to win an appeal successfully.

What is a suspensive and non-suspensive right of appeal?

A suspensive immigration appeal allows appellants to remain in the UK during the case hearings. Whereas, non-suspensive appeals can only be heard after an appellant leaves the UK. Accordingly, an appellant can lodge a non-suspensive UK immigration appeal from outside the UK. However, if an appellant lodges a non-suspensive appeal before leaving the UK then it deems as an abandoned appeal.

How much is the UK immigration appeal fee?

Immigration Appeal Fees for a paper appeal is £80 and that for oral hearings £140, which are required to be paid before lodging an appeal in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Appeals Chamber).

Furthermore, in terms of First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) Fees Order 2011 an individual needs to pay the fee if he/she wishes to appeal against an immigration decision such as entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, European residence documentation.

When an appellant is not required to pay the fee?

An appellant may not require to pay the fee if he/she is getting legal aid or asylum support. And also if the appellant is getting local authority benefits under Section 17 of the Child Act 1989. Moreover, Article 5 of the 2011 Order also grants exemptions for certain types of appeals such as revoking indefinite leave to enter or ILR, depriving the right of abode or citizenship, deportation, removal etc.

Furthermore, for under Section 23A of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005, a tribunal can order the Home Office to meet costs up to the entire amount of the fee paid.

For further details please refer to the tribunal fees guidance.

What happens if the appellant does not pay the fee?

It is important to note that if an appeal is submitted without payment details, the Tribunal will write to the appellant with further instructions about how an appellant can pay immigration appeal fee, which will cause a delay in the processing of the appeal.

When the British government tried to increase the appeal fee?

In 2016, the UK immigration appeal fees increased by 500%. Accordingly, fees for an application to the first-tier tribunal dealing with immigration and asylum cases rose earlier in the autumn of 2016 from £80 to £490. And the UK immigration appeal fees for an oral hearing rose from £140 to £800. Moreover, for the very first time, appeals to the upper tribunal also charged at £350 for each application and £510 for an appeal hearing. However, the move was bitterly opposed. And from November 25, 2016, all applicants required to pay fees at previous levels. Moreover, the Ministry of Justice committed to reimburse the difference between the increased fee and the previous fee.

What are the UK visa and immigration appeal time limits?

In terms of Section 7 The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005, an appellant needs to lodge an immigration appeal with the First-Tier Tribunal within the stipulated period from the date of service of an appealable decision. Therefore, in a nutshell, the immigration tribunal appeal time limit is 14 days for in-country appeals, 5 days for detention appeals and 28 days for appeals from outside the UK. Perhaps, it is better to file an appeal as soon as possible.

What is the time limit to lodge an appeal from inside the UK?

Where the appeal is brought in the UK then the stipulated period is fourteen (14) days to lodge an appeal after the appellant is sent the notice against which the appeal is brought. However, if an appellant lodges a UK immigration appeal after the stipulated 14 days deadline then needs to satisfy the merits of hearing the appeal despite late filing. Certainly, the immigration appeal tribune decides whether or not to proceed the matter further.

What is the time limit to lodge a detention appeal?

Moreover, in terms of Section 7(1)(a) of The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 the time limits for Detention Appeals is 5 days.

What is the time limit to lodge an appeal from outside the UK?

The time limits to lodge an appeal from outside the UK against an in-country decision when appealed from outside the UK is twenty-eight (28) days after the departure of the appellant from the UK (Form IAFT-7). In case an applicant is required to leave the UK before exercising the right to appeal, then 28 days to appeal starts from the day that a person leaves the UK.

What is the time limit to appeal against an ECO decision?

The time limit for any other type of appeals such as asylum claim, spouse refusal etc. from outside the UK is also twenty-eight (28) days from the date of service of the decision. Perhaps, an appellant needs to lodge an appeal from outside the UK as soon as possible- at the most within 28 days after the receipt of the refusal decision.

Can an appellant file a late immigration appeal?

If an appellant lodges UK immigration appeal after the 28 days deadline then needs to explain the reason for the delay. Certainly, the appeal tribunal has the powers to decide whether or not to hear the immigration appeal despite its late filing.

Rule 10 of Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005

For late appeals, Rule 10 requires appellants to request an extension of the time in which to lodge an appeal. However, for requesting an extension of the time, the appellant needs to give reasons for lodging a late or out of time appeal. And also any written evidence relied upon in support of those reasons.

Can an Immigration Tribunal extend the time limit?

The Tribunal is empowered to extend the time limit for appealing if it is satisfied that there are special circumstances that would make it unjust not to do so.

If the tribunal decides an appeal has been brought outside the relevant time limit but no application to extend time has been included, it can extend the time of its own choosing and notify the person their notice was given out of time. The appellant is then given the opportunity to file written evidence within specified time limits to demonstrate that due to special circumstances appeal was not lodged within time limits.

What is immigration status while an appeal is pending in the UK?

In terms of Section 3C (2) of the Immigration Act 1971, provides for a statutory extension in the leave to remain of a person in case of a pending appeal under section 82(1) of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2002. Therefore, leave to remain in the UK is statutorily extended until the final determination of a UK immigration appeal.

2) How to lodge an appeal against a refusal decision?

Rule 6 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 provides that an appellant can initiate an immigration appeal by submitting a notice of appeal against an appealable refusal decision in line with the 2005 Rules. Accordingly, an appellant needs to submit an appeal against a refusal decision on an appropriate notice form:

  1. An appellant can file an in-country appeal by using either IAFT-1 or IAFT-5 appeal form
  2. Appeals against appealable Entry Clearance Officer refusal decision can be filed by using either IAFT-2 or IAFT-6 notice form
  3. perhaps for exercising a non-suspensive right of appeals against Removal Directions, Bail Notices or Deportation Order from outside the UK, an appellant needs to use IAFT-3 or IAFT-7 notice form.
  4. Form IAFT 5 (DIA) is for detention appeal for appellants detained at an Immigration Removal Centre. In fact, the IAFT 5 (DIA) is issued with the refusal letter, when the appellant has a right of appeal from inside the UK.
  5. Moreover, an appellant can request the first-tier tribunal for permission to appeal to the upper tribunal immigration by using IAFT-4 Notice Form.

Please note: the notice of Appeal forms for decisions made before April 6, 2015, are IAFT-1, IAFT-2 and IAFT-3. And the notice of Appeal forms for decisions made after April 6, 2015, are  IAFT-5, IAFT-6 and IAFT-7

How to appeal against an in-country decision?

Apparently, an appellant can lodge an in-country appeal by using IAFT-1 or IAFT-5 Notice of Appeal Form against a decision made before or after April 6, 2015, respectively. Moreover, as per Rule 9 of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 an appeal tribunal may not accept notice of appeal if an appellant has lodged an appeal in the UK when the appellant only has an out of country (non-suspensive) right of appeal. Therefore, in such instances, the appellant can only appeal on the IAFT 3 Appeal Form and IAFT 7 Appeal Form from outside the UK.

How to explain grounds of an in-country appeal?

An appellant needs to inform the tribunal of the reasons for which he/she disagrees with the decision in the Refusal Letter. Apparently, this may also include any information that the Refusal Letter does not mention. Moreover, an appellant needs to explain whether he/she has raised these issues before or not.

Accordingly, the appellant may give as much detail as possible to raise all the grounds of appeal. The Tribunal may not consider all the grounds that an appellant raised in the appeal. For instance, the tribunal may not consider grounds which are not part of the Home Office’s decision. However, if the Home Office agrees then the Tribunal may consider the new grounds.

Grounds of in-country appeals on IAFT-1 Notice Form

Quite clearly, an appellant can lodge an in-country Asylum Appeal on IAFT-1 Notice Form for a decision made before April 6, 2015, if the:

  1. appellant disagrees with the Home Office’s interpretation of the situation in their home country 
  2. Home Office has suggested that the appellant could live safely in another part of the country of origin 
  3. Home Office has stated that the claim is not credible
  4. refusal decision states that the appellant does not qualify as a refugee grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion (under the criteria of the 1951 Geneva Convention
  5. Home Office has stated that specific articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)do not apply to the case.
  6. Home Office has stated that the appellant does not qualify as a person who is eligible for humanitarian protection (under the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection Regulations 2006.
  7. if the appellant disagrees with the Home Officer decision for any other reason.

Moreover, an appellant can also raise the aforesaid grounds of appeal in the non-suspensive appeals on IAFT-3 Notice Form. And both the IAFT-1 or IAFT-3 Notice of Appeal Form also provides for lodging a UK immigration appeal against a Non-Asylum Decision.

Additional Grounds for in-country appeals on IAFT-1 Form

Apparently, in IAFT-1 Appeal Form, an appellant can raise additional grounds. Moreover, the Refusal Letter may require the appellant to make a Statement of additional grounds. Accordingly, an appellant may need to explain:  why the appellant may allow staying in the UK. This includes any reasons relating to the European Convention on Human Rights and should not be required to leave. However, the appellant may not repeat any grounds and reasons that have already given in Section 3D of IAFT 1 Appeal Form.

Moreover, an appellant can also raise the aforesaid Additional Grounds in the non-suspensive appeals on IAFT-3 Notice Form.

Grounds of in-country appeals on IAFT-5 Form

In fact, an appellant can lodge an in-country appeal on IAFT-5 Notice of Appeal Form against a decision made after April 6, 2015, on the following grounds:

  1. Protection Claim: if removal from the UK would breach the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention
  2. Protection Claim: if removal from the UK would breach the UK’s obligations in relation to persons eligible for a grant of humanitarian protection
  3. Human Rights Claim: if the decision to refuse human rights claim is unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998
  4. Revocation of Protection Status: if the decision to revoke protection status breaches the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention Decision
  5. Revocation of Protection Status: if the decision to revoke protection status breaches the UK’s obligations in relation to persons eligible for humanitarian protection
  6. EEA Appeal: if the Home Office decision is restricting rights under the EEA right to free movement
  7. Deprivation of Citizenship

Perhaps, if an applicant is not sure about the exact nature of the appeal then can also use IAFT-5. Moreover, for non-suspensive appeals appellants needs to use IAFT-7 Notice Form against a UK visa and immigration decision made after April 6, 2015.

New Matters for in-country appeals on IAFT-5 Notice Form

Quite clearly, in IAFT-5 Notice Form, an appellant can raise New Matters for:

  • wishing to enter or remain in the United Kingdom
  • grounds on which permits the applicant to enter or remain in the United Kingdom
  • grounds on which the appellant should not be removed from or required to leave the UK provided that appellant has already informed the Home Office about these reasons in response to a notice served in terms of section 120 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

Moreover, an appellant can also raise the aforesaid New Matters in the non-suspensive appeals on IAFT-7 Notice Form.

Can an appellant exercise a right of appeal from outside the UK?

Yes, quite certainly an appellant can exercise the right to appeal against an immigration decision from inside and outside the UK. Please note: the refusal letter usually mentions the right of appeal.

Perhaps, at times inadvertently if the right of appeal is not mentioned in a refusal letter for an appealable decision and also the decision-maker fails to provide a Notice of Appeal even then an applicant is well entitled to file an appeal.

Moreover, Section 92 provides the details relating to where an appeal will take place. Section 92 should be read together with Sections 94 & 94B which relate to clarification if an appeal that would otherwise be held in the United Kingdom is required to lodge after an appellant has left the United Kingdom.

How to lodge an appeal against an entry clearance decision?

After a refusal decision, an applicant can lodge an appeal against entry clearance refusal online. An appellant must lodge an appeal within 28 days from the receipts of the refusal decision. Certainly, the purpose of an appeal is to overturn a refusal decision. This successful challenge greatly depends on the grounds of the appeal. Moreover, clear and to the point presentation, especially with reference to immigration rules and legal precedence, is critical.

Grounds of appeal against an entry clearance decision

The appeal against entry clearance refusal on IAFT 2 Appeal Form covers decisions relating to Settlement, Non-Settlement and Family Visit. However, appeal against entry clearance refusal form IAFT 6 Appeal Form covers Human Rights (HU), EEA (EA), spouse visa refusal. For oral hearing, an appellant needs to have either a Sponsor, Witness or a Representation such as authorized immigration solicitor.

Grounds of entry clearance appeal on IAFT-2 Notice Form

Grounds of appeal against ECO decision in IAFT 2 Appeal Form are quite open-ended as an appellant is required to elucidate the reasons why he/she disagrees with the decision on the Refusal Letter document.

IAFT-2 provides liberty to the appellant to include any information that the Refusal Letter does not elucidate. The appellant can provide as much detail as possible as the appellant may not be able to do so at a later date. Moreover, the appellant can attach any evidence or additional sheets of paper if and where necessary.

Grounds of entry clearance appeal on IAFT-6 Notice Form

The Grounds of Appeal Against Entry Clearance Refusal in IAFT 6 Appeal Form are quite specific in nature. An appellant may appeal only against human rights claim refusal and the deprivation of citizenship, and against the refusal of an application as an EEA national or the family member of an EEA national. And also can file spouse visa appeal.

An appellant may appeal on the ground that the decision is unlawful under section 6 of the Human Right Act 1998. Moreover, an appellant may appeal that the decision breaches the appellant’s rights under the European Union treaties in respect of entry to or residence in the UK.

If the decision against which an appellant seeks to appeal states specific articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which do not apply to appellant’s case, and the appellant disagrees, then the appellant needs to explain the reasons for this disagreement.

An appellant can attach any evidence or additional sheets of paper if and where necessary.

How to send the UK immigration appeal?

Perhaps, there is no need to provide original documents. Such as Passports, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificates, Identification cards. Indeed, the handling of original documents results in delays. Therefore, it is sufficient to furnish photocopies of the supporting documents.

An appellant can send completed appeal form, along with a copy of the Refusal Letter, Reasons for Refusal and photocopies of any other related documents to the First-tier Tribunal either by post or facsimile but do not do both, as this could not only cause delays to appeal but also result in payment being taken more than once.

What is the documents checklist to lodge UK immigration appeal?

Moreover, for the successful creation of a UK immigration appeal, an appellant must ensure to provide:

  • Credit/debit card details
  • A copy of the Refusal Letter
  • A copy of the Reasons for Refusal stated in the Refusal Letter
  • Details of the Grounds of appeal
  • For late appeals, the reasons for filing Out of Time appeal
  • Photocopies of the documents
  • Completed all the relevant sections of the Appeal Form
  • To sign the declarations

Who can sign the notice of appeal form?

Apparently, the appellant or the legal representative can sign the notice of appeal form. However, the representative needs to confirm that the form has been completed in line with the appellant’s instructions.

However, all submitted notice of immigration appeal forms need to:

  • be signed, dated & include the name and address of the appellant
  • state whether there is an authorised representative and give their name and address
  • state the appellant’s grounds of appeal and also the elaborate the reasons in support of the grounds
  • when possible, list any documents on which the appellant relies in support of their appeal

Please note: Section 84 of the Immigration Act sets out the grounds of appeal. Accordingly, a tribunal can only consider a UK immigration appeal for the refusal of the claim made by an applicant.

How to avoid delays in the appeal lodgement?

Perhaps, online appeals are quicker than the appeals by post or fax. Therefore, in order to avoid delays in the processing of appeal one can lodge an immigration appeal online. And can also pay an appeal fee by using a credit or debit card.

3) FAQs relating to the UK immigration appeals process

This section tries to explain the following FAQs relating to the UK immigration appeal process and procedure after lodgement of an appeal.

  1. When the UK immigration appeal process starts?
  2. Who represents the Home Office in the immigration appeals?
  3. What are the immigration appeal hearing legislations in the UK?
  4. What is the meaning of appeals directions?
  5. Is it necessary to provide documents before the final hearing?
  6. What are the different types of appeal directions?
  7. What is an immigration appeal bundle?
  8. When the tribunal sets hearing date for an asylum appeal?
  9. What matters a Tribunal considers in an immigration appeal?
  10. Is appeal hearing in the absence of a party possible?
  11. When adjournment of a UK visa and immigration appeal is possible?
  12. Can an appellant withdraw an immigration appeal?
  13. What if the appellant dies before the final determination?
  14. What is an abandoned immigration appeal?
  15. Is it possible to remove dependants from the UK during the appeal?
  16. Is it necessary to determine a UK visa and immigration appeal?
  17. What are non-statutory recommendations by the Tribunal?
  18. When an immigration appeal is finally determined?
  19. What is the UK immigration appeal decision time?
  20. What are the chances of winning an immigration appeal?

When the UK immigration appeal process starts?

The First-Tier Tribunal Immigration Appeal Process sets into motion after the filing/lodging an appeal against a UK visa or immigration decision.

Who represents the Home Office in the immigration appeals?

Usually, a presenting officer  (POs) or sometimes a case owner (CO) in asylum appeals, represents Home Office at hearings. However, in some significant cases, Home Office many instruct a counsel.

What are the immigration appeal hearing legislations in the UK?

The following legislation allows the tribunal to decide how the appeal hearing conducts for appeal against a UK visa and immigration decision:

  • Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002;
  • Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004;
  • Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005.

What is the meaning of appeals directions?

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.

Is it necessary to provide documents before the final hearing?

Yes, quite certainly, the Tribunal has the power to make both parties (the appellant as well as the respondent) provide documents before the final hearing. If either of the parties fails to comply with the deadline, it can result in the appeal determine without a hearing. This is in line with Rule 15 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005.

What are the different types of appeal directions?

Usually, the tribunal issues a couple of types of directions i.e. pre-hearing and case-specific directions. Moreover, responses to directions must include details of the information provided and also the reasons for not providing any evidence or document.

When the tribunal issues pre-hearing directions?

The tribunal issues directions to both parties after listing of a case. Moreover, both parties need to provide the documents before the hearing. The appeal bundle usually satisfies these directions. Moreover,  a separate skeleton argument may supplement the appeal’s bundle when the appellate authority identifies specific issues.

For such issues, a reference to the reasons for refusal letter and any supplementary letter(s) would normally suffice. However, it is not necessary to provide or refer to precedent cases. Accordingly, the important point to include is corroborating evidence against the Home Office decision.

Why and when the tribunal issues case-specific directions?

These are requests from the Tribunal to the Home Office for additional explanations, submissions, and considerations. These directions often issue after a first hearing but the tribunal can give case-specific directions at a case management review hearing.

Accordingly, the Home Office may have already provided a skeleton argument in the form of the notice of decision or reasons for refusal letter. However, there is no set format for this additional material. It must simply and briefly set out what each additional issue is and the Home Office response on that issue (referring to relevant precedents or documentary evidence).

What if the deadline for submitting documents is unreasonable?

It is critical to inform the tribunal when the deadline for receiving additional papers is unreasonable or impossible to meet. However, in such instances, it is a requirement to provide a written explanation as to why the direction fails to meet the requirements of Rule 45 of the 2005 Rules.

What is an immigration appeal bundle?

The tribunal 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.

What the respondent’s bundle must include?

The Respondent’s bundle must include:

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

However, documents are often missing in the Respondent’s Bundle. Perhaps, quite often the bundle has issues relating to proper indexation and pagination. In fact, at times, tribunal judges are usually tolerant of failings of an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO). However, an appellant should not expect such level of tolerance.

When the respondent needs to submit the appeal bundle?

The tribunal schedules an immigration appeal hearing date. Accordingly, it is essential to submit the Respondent’s Bundle before the deadline. However, such submission might not always happen. Perhaps, on some occasions, the Respondent may not provide the bundle until the hearing date.

What if an appellant or respondent fails to submit bundle?

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 that the judge may dismiss the appeal.

When an appellant needs to provide the bundle to the Home Office?

Furthermore, an appellant needs to provide the Appellant’s Bundle to the Home Office lawyers and the tribunal well before the hearing. Usually, this may institute five (5) working days before the hearing date.

When the tribunal sets hearing date for an asylum appeal?

If the appellant is in the UK, and the appeal relates in whole (or in part) to an asylum claim, the tribunal needs to set the appeal hearing:

  • no later than 35 days after it receives the notice of appeal or
  • 35 days after the tribunal decision to consider a late notice of appeal

If an asylum appeal determined without a hearing, then the tribunal must make a decision within 35 days after the receipt of the appeal notice.

What matters a Tribunal considers in an immigration appeal?

In appeals against immigration decisions made u/s 82 of the 2002 ACT, the Tribunal must consider:

  • all Home Office decisions where the appellant has an appeal right u/s 82 of the 2002 ACT.
  • any matter raised as additional grounds in response to a one-stop notice, including those raised before and during the appeal, provided they meet the grounds of appeal definition u/s 84 of the 2002 ACT.

Moreover, in cases u/s 82 or 83 of the 2002 ACT, a tribunal can consider evidence about any matter which it believes connects to the essence of the decision. This includes evidence which involves a matter arising after the date of the decision, with the following exceptions:

  • in entry clearance and certificate of entitlement cases – the tribunal can only consider the circumstances as they stood at the date of the decision. This does not exclude later evidence which sheds light on earlier conditions
  • in cases, under the points-based system, the tribunal can only consider evidence submitted at the time of executing the application, which the Home Office decision-maker considered (including evidence requested under evidential flexibility arrangements). However, exemptions exist to allow to consider evidence submitted after the decision such as:
    • in support of human rights, race relations, asylum or European Economic Area (EEA) grounds of appeal;
    • in support of the grounds that do not relate to the attainment of points
    • to prove that a document already submitted is genuine or valid

Can a tribunal consider a new matter?

Section 85 sets out the matters a tribunal may consider. A tribunal can only consider a new matter that Secretary of State (SSHD) has examined and given the Tribunal consent to do so. Accordingly, an appellant can only raise a new matter before the Tribunal if SSHD can consider the new matter.

How quickly an appellant needs to raise a new matter?

Section 96 of the Immigration Act provides that where the refusal of a claim would commonly result in a right of appeal. And there will be no right of appeal if a claim should have been made earlier. Section 96 of the Act works with Section 120 which makes an ongoing duty on an individual/applicant to raise a new matter with the SSHD as soon as reasonably practicable after it has arisen.

Do precedents affect immigration appeals?

The tribunal binds by precedents set by higher courts and starred or reported tribunal determinations.

Moreover, the tribunal needs to treat country guidance cases as providing authoritative findings on country conditions in asylum or human rights appeals. However, the case needs to depend on the same or similar evidence and there is no significant change of circumstances since the country guidance case.

The tribunal must also follow practice directions of the senior president or president of the tribunal and the president of the Immigration & Asylum Chamber.

Is appeal hearing in the absence of a party possible?

Rule 19 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 allows appellate authorities to hear an appeal in the absence of a party or representative. However, there is a requirement for giving notice of the date, time and place of hearing to the party or its representative. Moreover, if the party or its representative fails to give a satisfactory explanation for the absence then appeal hearing in the absence of a party can also take place.

Rule 19 of the 2005 Rules also state that appellate authorities can hear an appeal in the absence of a party if a representative of the participant is present at the hearing; however, the party is:

  • outside the UK
  • suffering from a communicable disease
  • likely to behave in a violent or disorderly manner
  • unable to attend due to illness, accident or some other good reason
  • unrepresented and it is not possible to serve a notice of appeal
  • not minded to participate and has told the tribunal

When adjournment of a UK visa and immigration appeal is possible?

When and where possible, it is expedient to avoid adjournments. If an adjournment is necessary, then the party requesting it must notify all the parties. Apparently, the notification must provide a good reason to explain why an adjournment is necessary. This may also include evidence to establish any fact or matter relied on, in support of the application.

The notification must persuade the tribunal as to why the appeal cannot determine justly if it proceeds as planned. If the notice of adjournment is able to persuade the tribunal then the tribunal sets a new date. Usually, the new hearing or determination date for the appeal falls within 28 days of the adjournment. However, due to exceptional circumstances, this may vary.

Can an appellant withdraw an immigration appeal?

Yes, as per Rule 17 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005, appellants or their representative can withdraw appeals any time before determination.

How an appellant can withdraw an immigration appeal?

Quite clearly, an appellant needs to give written notice of withdrawal, except when an appellant can withdraw orally before the tribunal. However, if the Home Office notifies the tribunal that it has withdrawn the immigration decision to which the appeal relates then also an appeal treated as withdrawn. Usually, the tribunal serves notice to this effect on all parties i.e. the appeal has withdrawn or treated as withdrawn. However, if the tribunal does not provide this notice, it does not invalidate the withdrawal. Moreover, the withdrawal takes effect as soon as the Home Office, the appellant or their representative provides proper notice to the tribunal.

Is it possible to reinstate a withdrawn appeal?

No, it is not possible to reinstate a withdrawn appeal. However, an appellant can argue the appeal was withdrawn incorrectly and is, therefore, extant (ongoing) appeals.

The immigration officer needs to tell appellants who wish to reinstate an appeal to contact the tribunal directly. Moreover, in the case of removal appeals, the immigration officer usually informs the appellant that enforcement action will not suspend. However, this may defer removal until the outcome of the referral.

Should an appellant withdraw appeal on the request of Home Office?

An appellant may show caution towards Home Office’s invitations to withdraw the appeal. These invitations to withdraw can adversely affect the appellant’s future appeal rights. Moreover, these may leave the Home Office open to accusations of coercion. which may force an appellant to withdraw.

What if the appellant dies before the final determination?

If an appellant dies before determination then the appeal usually considers as withdrawn. However, where the tribunal considers it necessary, can allow a representative to continue proceedings. Moreover, an appeal may continue if the appeal also includes dependants, who require determination.

What is an abandoned immigration appeal?

Section 104(4) of the 2002 Act requires suits u/s 82 of the Act to treat appeals as abandoned when an appellant:

  • lodges an in-country appeal whilst in the UK and then leaves the UK
  • is granted permission to enter or remain in the UK, unless the appellant:
    • is given leave for more than 12 months and the appeal is on asylum grounds;
    • has appealed on race discrimination grounds;

In these circumstances, it is for the appellant to give notice they want to pursue the appeal.

When appeals are abandoned under the EEA Regulations?

Paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 2 to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (EEA regulations) also says an appeal treated as abandoned if the appellant has:

  • been issued with one of the following documents under the EEA regulations:
    • registration certificate
    • residence card
    • derivative residence card
    • a document certifying permanent residence
    • permanent residence card
  • been issued with an accession worker card under the Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) Regulations 2006 (Bulgarian and Romanian nationals only)
  • had their passport stamped with a family member residence stamp

However, a pending appeal under the EEA regulations usually treated as abandoned solely because the appellant has left the UK {regulation 25(4)}.

Is it necessary to inform the authorities about abandonment?

Rule 18 of the 2005 Rules requires the appellant or their representative to inform the appellate authorities if an appeal is abandoned. On receipt of such notice, the Tribunal must serve a formal notice on all parties. Accordingly, the notice informs the parties about the abandonment of the appeal against UK visa and immigration decision.

Section 104(4) of the 2002 ACT does not apply to appeals brought by a person while outside the UK or to appeals u/s 83 or 83A of that Act.

Is it possible to remove dependants from the UK during the appeal?

Rule 20 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 to hear the appeals of the main applicant(s) and dependents together.

If only the main applicant appeals, Tribunal cannot consider the position of the dependants. However, it is not possible to remove dependants until an appeal of the main applicant determined.

However, if only dependants lodge an appeal, they can still appeal in the UK if either:

  • their application for a further leave had been made in time (subject to requirements u/s 88 and 88A of the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002 which both apply to dependants); or
  • they raise asylum or humanitarian protection grounds.

Is it necessary to determine a UK visa and immigration appeal?

In terms of Section 86 Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the Tribunal must determine, i.e. reach a decision on any matter raised as a ground of appeal and any matter that section 85 of the 2002 ACT requires it to consider. If the tribunal fails to do so, it can be an error of law and form the basis of an application for an onward appeal.

When a tribunal must allow an immigration appeal?

The tribunal must allow an appeal if either:

  • the Home Office’s decision was not in line with the law (including the Immigration Rules);
  • discretion within the rules should have been exercised differently (a refusal to depart from the rules does not count as an exercise of discretion in this context).

In all other circumstances, the tribunal must dismiss the appeal.

For further details please refer Section 86 Determination of appeal Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

When an immigration appeal is determined without a hearing?

Rule 15(2) of Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 allows appellate authorities to determine an appeal without a hearing if:

  • all parties to the appeal consent subject to the exception in Rule 15(2)(a) of the 2005 Rules which allows the appeal to be determined without a hearing (without the appellant’s consent) where Lord Chancellor has refused to issue a certificate of fee satisfaction for the fee payable for a hearing
  • the appellant is outside the UK and does not have a representative with an address for service in the UK
  • a party has not complied with the procedure rules or a direction of the appellate authorities and the Tribunal is satisfied it is appropriate to determine the appeal without a hearing – if the party that has not complied is the appellant, the Tribunal can dismiss the appeal without determining it (this will rarely be appropriate, however, if there is evidence on which the tribunal can determine the appeal)
  • the tribunal satisfies that the appeal can be justly determined without a hearing. However, the tribunal must give the parties a chance to comment in writing

Is a written determination still necessary?

Yes, quite certain the tribunal must issue a full written determination even if the appeal is determined without hearing. Moreover, the determination informs the parties of any onward appeal rights. Most noteworthy: certain onwards appeal rights remain unaffected due to an absence of the hearing. However, the determination has limited contents where it has dismissed the appeal without a hearing.

For further details please refer Section 15(2) Method of determining appeal The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005

What are non-statutory recommendations by the Tribunal?

When rejecting an appeal, or when an appeal is withdrawn, the court can make a non-statutory recommendation that the Home Office should exercise discretion in favour of the appellant (they often suggest the Home Office reconsider the application or grant discretionary leave).

Does the Home Office act on non-statutory recommendations?

The immigration officer usually only act upon such recommendations if the determination and/or recommendation disclose clear, exceptional, compassionate circumstances, which were not previously considered and warrant the exercise of discretionary powers outside the Immigration Rules.

The immigration officer is required to consider these recommendations as soon as reasonably possible and consider tribunal determinations which suggest the Home Office should reconsider a case but which are not strictly recommendations as if they were recommendations.

What if the Home Office accepts the recommendations?

If the Home Office agrees to accept the tribunal’s recommendation and leave is granted the immigration officer is required to:

  • inform the appellant in a covering letter that any outstanding appeal (to the Tribunal or another court) will be treated as abandoned in line with section 104(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (unless sections 104(4B) or 104(C) of that Act apply);
  • inform the tribunal or appropriate court.

What if the Home Office officer does not accept recommendations?

If the tribunal’s recommendation is not accepted, the immigration officer is required to send a letter to the appellant which:

  • gives details of the tribunal recommendation; and
  • states that the Home Office has decided the written determination does not disclose clear, exceptional, compassionate circumstances which were not previously considered and which merit an exercise of (using) discretion outside the Immigration Rules.

When an immigration appeal is finally determined?

An appeal is finally determined when it is decided by the tribunal, and all onward appeal rights have been exhausted.

Section 104(5) of the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002 also says an appeal against the following immigration decisions is finally determined if a deportation order is made against the appellant’s:

  • refusal of leave to enter
  • refusal of  a certificate of entitlement u/s 10 of the 2002 ACT
  • revocation of leave u/s 76 of the 2002 ACT
  • refusal to vary leave if the result is the applicant has no leave
  • leave if the result is the applicant has no leave (curtailment)

In each case, the appellant will have had a right of appeal against the decision to make a deportation order. Rule 18 of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 requires parties to inform the appellate authorities if an appeal should be treated as finally determined in this way. The tribunal must then serve notice and take no further action, as with abandonments u/s 104(4) of the 2002 ACT.

What is the UK immigration appeal decision time?

The tribunal must serve a written determination, which provides the reasons for its decision, on all parties.

The judge usually does not announce the outcome of the hearing, but this sometimes does happen. Usually, an applicant receives a written decision within two or three weeks after the hearing. Accordingly. if the tribunal allows the appeal (i.e. an appellant wins the UK immigration appeal) then gets the entry clearance visa or permission to remain in the UK. However, the tribunal upheld the decision SSHD then the appellant can lodge an appeal with the Upper Tribunal.

What is the decision time for non-asylum appeals?

For non-asylum cases, the tribunal usually sends a written determination to parties within 10 working days. Perhaps, irrespective whether there has been a hearing or not.

What is the decision time for asylum appeals?

For asylum cases where the appellant has appealed from within the UK, the tribunal serves the determination on the Home Office. Accordingly, the Home Office must serve the determination on the appellant no later than the date on which the Home Office contest the decision. And in all other cases no later than 28 days after receiving the determination from the tribunal.

How to appeal against the decision of First Tier Tribunal?

In fact, an appellant can appeal against the First Tier Tribunal Decision. And there is no fee for permission to appeal on IAFT-4 Notice Form. However, an appellant needs to lodge the permission to appeal within 14 or 28 days after receiving the written decision of the First-Tier Tribunal. Therefore, it is mandatory for the appellant to first take permission from the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (FTTIAC) on IAFT-4 Form before proceeding with an appeal to the Upper Tribunal. Accordingly, an appellant needs to enclose any documents relating to an error of law in the First-Tier Tribunal’s Decision on which he/she is relying. And accordingly can send the IAFT-4 Notice Form with supporting documents to the First-Tier Tribunal by post, facsimile or email.

What if the First-Tier Tribunal does not grant permission?

If the First-tier Tribunal either refuses permission or gives permission to appeal on limited grounds then an appellant can make an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to lodge an appeal on IAUT-1 Notice Form. However, an appellant can only appeal if he/she is quite certain that the First-tier Tribunal has made an error of law in its judgement.

Quite clearly, there is no fee to apply for permission to appeal to the UTIAC. However, an appellant needs to submit the permission to appeal within 14 days or one month after the receipt of the written decision from the First Tier Tribunal, for appeals lodged from inside or outside the UK, respectively.

Supporting Documents for the UTIAC permission to appeal

Accordingly, an appellant needs to enclose the following documents with IAUT-1 Application Form:

  1. a copy of the written statement of reasons from the First-tier Tribunal
  2. copy of the notice of refusal of permission to appeal by the FTTIAC or refusal to admit the application for permission
  3. copy of the grounds of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal
  4. any other supporting documents relevant to the application that was before that First-tier Tribunal
  5. any written evidence in support of Part D IAUT-1 Form, relating to reasons for any delay and/or Part F IAUT-1 relating to reasons for appealing

And send the IAUT-1 Form with supporting documents to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) by post or facsimile.

If an appellant does not send the requisite supporting documents then the appeal may either be delayed or not considered/admitted by the Upper Tribunal.

As per procedure, the Upper Tribunal contacts an appellant when it receives an IAUT-1 application form. If an appellant does not receive any intimation within 5 working days then it is advisable to contact the Tribunal Customer Service Centre by quoting the appeal number.

What are the chances of winning an immigration appeal?

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) What are the UK visa and immigration appeal processing times?

During January to March 2018, the UK immigration appeal waiting time 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.

As a matter of fact, the UK immigration appeal processing time has improved in the first quarter of 2018. Accordingly, the average waiting time has reduced from 45 weeks in 2017 to 37 weeks. Perhaps, 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. Moreover, further improvements are expected in subsequent 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

What is the appeal processing time in 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.

What is the waiting time for deciding 50% of the appeals?

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

Furthermore, 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.

A decrease in the case workload will have a positive impact

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 appeals is reduced then it is expected that the 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).

5) What is the UK visa and immigration appeal success rate?

According to Official Statistics, from 2010/11 to Q3 2017/18, the first-tier tribunal decided 580,851 appeals against the UK visa and immigration refusal decisions. Moreover, during the same period, the upper tribunal decided as many as 51,454 immigration appeals.

So, what is the UK immigration appeal success rate?

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. In fact, 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%. However, an appellant can file an appeal against the 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.

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.

Details of First Tier Tribunal Immigration 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.

Total no. of decisions by the First-Tier Tribunal

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 papers and oral hearings.

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’s decisions by category

Table 3 provides the details of the UK immigration appeals by category. In fact, during 2010-2018 most receipts (235,791), disposals (255,838) and 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

The success rate of immigration appeal in the First Tier Tribunal

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%

Details of 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.

Total no. of appeal decisions by the Upper Chamber

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

Ave success rate of appeals in the Upper Tribunal

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.

UK appeal success rate in the Upper Tribunal in 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 the 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, the column includes appeals relating to Protection and Revocation of Protection: introduced as part of the Immigration Act 2014.

What is the asylum appeals success rate?

According to a research, 36,367 asylum appeals heard from Jan 2013 to Sept 2016. However, the success rates of asylum appeals varied at different hearing centres. For instance, 7,488 asylum appeals heard at Taylor House, with an immigration appeal success rate of 47%. However, the success rate of appeals heard at Harmondsworth was only 24%. The report concluded that the lack of a legal representative was the key factor for the variance in success rates.

UK Asylum Appeal Success Rate
Tribunal Success rate Cases heard
Total 35% 36,367
Taylor House 47% 7,488
Hatton Cross 40% 6,414
Manchester 34% 4,428
Birmingham 34% 4,177
Newport 44% 3,083
Bradford 41% 2,903
Glasgow 28% 1,979
Stoke 36% 1,923
North Shields 30% 1,848
Harmondsworth 24% 1,196
Richmond 43% 299
Belfast 24% 292
Nottingham 39% 140
Yarl’s Wood 21% 125
Hendon 39% 72

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Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa applications please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Turkey and USA.