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What Is The Asylum Appeal Process In The UK?

The asylum appeal process gives asylum seekers a second chance to have their case heard and have their initial asylum rejection overturned.

For more in-depth information about how the immigration appeal process works in your exact situation, contact one of our friendly Total Law legal experts today at 0333 305 9375 or request a call back with our online form.

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    Asylum Appeal Process UK: An Overview

    The First-tier Tribunal, or First-tier Immigration Tribunal, is the initial court level handling appeals against Home Office decisions on entry clearance, permission to stay, and deportation in the UK. It operates independently of the Home Office and can overturn refusals made by the Home Office.

    Applicants who have applied for asylum in the UK and received a rejection can make a formal legal challenge to get the decision overturned, known as an appeal. If you are currently in the UK, you must appeal within 14 days of the date written on your decision letter.

    To appeal, you must ask the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for permission. If you are permitted, you will have a First-tier Tribunal hearing, where an impartial judge will hear your case. After this hearing, you’ll either:

    • Be granted asylum protection in the UK
    • Have your case re-reviewed by the Home Office
    • Be denied asylum protection

    If you are denied asylum status a second time but feel that your case was illegally handled, you can appeal again to the Upper Tribunal.

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      What Are The Most Common Reasons Asylum Claims Are Denied?

      Your asylum claim will be denied because the Home Office believes you can safely return home. You may need to provide more evidence, or your application may have errors. The exact reasons your claim was denied will be in your Reasons for Refusal Letter (RFRL). Some of the common causes include:

      • You didn’t provide enough information
      • Information couldn’t be verified
      • Your claim is certified, meaning the Home Office sees your case as “clearly unfounded”

      In some cases, there may be an error on the part of the Home Office. For example, you may suspect that:

      • There are documents missing
      • Dates, times or names were incorrect
      • The interview was mistranslated

      In those instances, you or your lawyer can file a subject access request (SAR). With this request, the Home Office will give you a copy of your file. So long as you provide enough identifying information (like your full name and case number), you should receive a response within one month.

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        What is the Process for Appealing an Asylum Decision in the UK?

        Overview of Appeal Process

        Not all Home Office immigration decisions can be appealed. You generally have a right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if the Home Office refuses your human rights or protection claim, revokes your protection status, denies a residence document, or makes decisions under certain regulations.

        You must file an immigration appeal within 14 days of receiving your decision letter to the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber to continue receiving asylum seeker support and continued right to remain. To do this, fill out the notice of appeal form that was enclosed with your decision letter or download it from the government website here.

        To appeal, you’ll need to send:

        • The filled-out form
        • Copy of your immigration letter (keep the original for your records)
        • Supporting documents

         Documents You Need to Include in Your Appeal Application

        You’ll need to include these documents alongside your appeal application:

        • Why you are appealing the decision (known as your “grounds of appeal”)
        • Documents that support your human rights claim
        • Why your immigration appeal is late (if it is)

        Decide on a Paper or Oral Hearing

        You will also have to decide whether you want a paper or oral hearing.

        • Paper hearings are done through documents only
        • An oral First-tier Tribunal hearing allows you to speak and can be arranged by phone, video, or in person

        If the First-tier Tribunal immigration and asylum chamber judge overseeing your case decides on an in-person hearing, you must go to London. If you don’t live in London, travel to the city and accommodation for the night will be paid for by the Home Office.

        How to Send the Form

        You can send the paper form through post, email, or fax to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service. You’ll find the contact details and address on the notice form.

        What Steps You Can Take if Your Human Rights Claim is Certified

        In some cases, your claim will be certified, meaning the Home Office rejected it because your case is “clearly unfounded”. Certified decisions occur in two instances:

        • The country you are from is considered “generally safe”
        • You stayed in the UK for too long before making your protection claim

        In these cases, you do not have the right to appeal the Home Office’s refusal in the UK. You can, however, contest your immigration application from your home country or apply for administrative review.

        Applying for Administrative Review

        If the decision isn’t appealable, you can still seek an Administrative Review from the Home Office, but only certain applications have this right if refused. In some cases, you might appeal, even if the Home Office denies it, by arguing jurisdiction before the Tribunal, such as with a returning resident visa and strong family ties. An administrative review means asking the Home Office to reconsider your case. You can request this review only if your casework has clear errors. For example, if:

        • Key facts like names, dates or locations are incorrect
        • You suspect there was a mistranslation error
        • There are case-working errors

        Applying for administrative review costs £80. The Home Office will refund this money to you if its initial decision is overturned and you’re granted asylum status.

        Appealable Human Rights Claims

        When it comes to human rights claims, certain applications submitted within the UK under the Immigration Rules grant a right of appeal against refusal. This includes various categories like Long Residence, Appendix FM family member applications, Part 8 family member applications, Private Life applications, and Partner or child of a member of HM Forces applications. Additionally, some leave-to-remain applications outside the Immigration Rules may be treated as human rights claims with appeal rights. A human rights claim is broadly defined as any assertion that removing, requiring departure, or denying entry to the UK would be unlawful under the Human Rights Act 1998.

        Appealable Protection Claims

        Protection claims, encompassing asylum and humanitarian protection, generally allow for an appeal against refusal decisions. This includes claims asserting a breach of the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention or humanitarian protection obligations, where removal would expose the individual to serious harm. However, if the Home Office certifies a human rights or protection claim as ‘clearly unfounded,’ there is no appeal right to the First-tier Tribunal. Similarly, rejected further submissions under paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules, not amounting to a fresh claim, also do not carry a right of appeal. Challenges to such certificates can be pursued through judicial review, considering the evidence submitted and seeking advice from an immigration appeal lawyer.

        Limitations on Appeal Rights

        Certification by the Home Office as ‘clearly unfounded’ or rejection of further submissions as not amounting to a fresh claim under paragraph 353 results in no right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Challenges to these certificates can be made through judicial review, with the strength of the challenge depending on the evidence and basis for refusal. Seeking advice from an immigration appeal lawyer is advisable in such situations.

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        Asylum Appeal Submitted: What to Expect Next

        Overview

        You will usually hear back from the First-tier tribunal immigration and asylum chamber within a week after submitting your immigration appeal request. They will either let you know whether or not they will consider your case or if they need more information.

        If you need to send more information, you’ll need to contact the Home Office Section 4 Casework Team to send the documents requested.

        What Happens If Your Case is Approved

        If the First-tier Tribunal appeal is allowed, what next? The First-tier Tribunal will then give you your appeal hearing date. This hearing may be paper or oral. If you have an in-person or phone hearing, you’ll be contacted a few days in advance and told what documents you must bring. Alternatively, you may be able to send those documents in the post beforehand.

        The tribunal will also let you know if you need to bring any witnesses. Contact those requested witnesses as soon as possible to ensure they attend the appeal hearing date.

        The First-Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber Hearing

        The hearing is done either orally or on paper.

        What is a Paper Appeal Hearing?

        A paper hearing means the judge will decide based only on paper evidence. In this case, the judge will look at your notice of appeal form, the documents, and any proof from the Home Office.

        What Happens at the In-Person Hearing?

        You can attend the oral hearing by phone, video, or in person. As with all hearings, you, a friend, or a lawyer will need to present your case to an impartial judge. Do keep in mind that you won’t be arguing alone. The Home Office will have their own representatives there to back up their initial decision (in this case, to refuse your protection claim).

        This can be a very daunting process, especially if you aren’t confident in speaking English. While you can request an interpreter in advance, that translator can only relay what is being said and cannot give you advice.

        Having someone who knows the full extent of immigration law on your side can take away a lot of stress, as you can rest easy knowing your case is being presented as well as it could.

        Our team at Total Law are here to help, from offering advice to full representation at the hearing, to give you the best chance at having your appeal succeed. To learn more, get in touch with our team at 0333 305 9375 or by using the online contact form.

        Can I Expedite My Hearing?

        To be granted an expedited immigration tribunal on compelling or compassionate grounds, you’ll need letters from the doctor or hospital. Once you have these, send them to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) customer service email at customer.service@justice.gov.uk or by calling 0300 123 1711.

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        How Long Does it Take to Receive a Decision on an Asylum Appeal in the UK?

        The First-tier Tribunal Chamber reveals that the average time to resolve appeals across all categories is currently 40 weeks.

        It’s important to consider the specific category you have applied for:

        • 53 weeks for asylum/protection
        • 45 weeks for human rights
        • 36 weeks for EEA Free Movement cases

        How Can I Reduce my Waiting Time?

        • Enlist the help of an immigration lawyer at Total Law. We can prepare the application, accompanied by a detailed letter explaining why an early hearing date is necessary.
        • Ensure your appeal is only lodged if appropriate, submitted within the 14 or 28 days deadline with all necessary information and evidence.
        • Your immigration lawyer will provide evidence, such as correspondence from a doctor or local authority, to prove the urgency. The tribunal will review the overall case to decide if earlier hearing if warranted.

        What Are the Possible Outcomes of an Asylum Appeal in the UK?

        Overview

        You will typically get one of three decisions from the immigration judge:

        1. The appeal was allowed, meaning you have been granted asylum status or will continue to receive asylum support, depending on your situation.
        2. The appeal was dismissed, meaning it was turned down and rejected.
        3. The judge has asked the Home Office to look at your case again, also known as “remitting” the immigration appeal.

        What Happens if My Immigration Appeal Is Successful?

        Once you have refugee status, you can remain in the UK for at least five years.

        After those five years, you can apply for settlement, which is the next step towards British citizenship. You will need to make this application one month before your initial five years ends.

        How Long Does It Take to Get a Visa After Appeal in the UK?

        After your appeal is allowed, how long to get a visa? While there is no visa per se, you will get your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and leave to remain once your right to remain is granted. This BRP should arrive between 7 and 10 days.

        What Happens If My Asylum Appeal Is Unsuccessful?

        The First-tier Tribunal’s decision is final. You can only appeal further if there’s evidence that the judge or tribunal staff did not follow the correct procedures or the law during your appeal. In this case, you can look into getting a Home Office appeal against the First-tier Tribunal decision, meaning you’ll appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

        How Our Total Law Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

        Asylum appeal cases can be fraught with anxiety, and unfortunately, there’s no time to waste. Immigration law also changes regularly, especially with the proposed New Plan for Immigration, which reduces the options for those who arrive in the UK through non-official channels. With the asylum process changing, staying on top of the law can be difficult.

        Having a Total Law immigration solicitor on your side can help you tick every box and make every step on time to improve your chances of having a successful appeal. In addition to providing legal support and representing you in court, they can also take point in the Upper Tribunal case if the correct law is not followed.

        Our friendly experts can guide you through many of the asylum UK immigration steps, including:

        • Asylum application and appeals
        • First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal Permission to Appeal)
        • Detained casework
        • Bail (Tribunal, SoS applications, renewals)
        • Fresh claims
        • Error or law preparation and hearings
        • Permission to Work application
        • BRP issues (error/lost/stolen)
        • Family Reunion Applications and appeals

        Having a Total Law immigration lawyer on your side can help you meet the deadlines and put together a solid appeal case that helps you succeed in your appeal, so give our legal team members a call at 0333 305 9375 or use the online form and get help today.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Due to the backlog of cases, the appeal process can take months to upwards of a year (or longer).

                  The exact success rate depends. In March 2023, for example, 43% of asylum appeals were allowed.

                  No, you cannot work unless you were granted special permission under Paragraph 360 or 360C of the Immigration Rules.

                  Hearing Type Fee in GBP
                  Paper Hearing £80
                  In-Person (Oral) Hearing £140

                   

                  Yes, if you have no more right to appeal, you can submit new evidence without starting a fresh claim, otherwise known as “further submission”. To do this, you’ll need to fill out this further submissions form and send your new evidence to the Further Submissions Units (FSU) in person. Along with this form and your new evidence, you’ll need to provide this identifying information:

                  • Valid passport
                  • Previous immigration status documents
                  • Driving licence
                  • IS96 or Bail 201 with a photograph

                  Yes, you or your legal representative can request the withdrawal of your appeal by contacting the tribunal in writing or the hearing centre if your hearing is less than seven days away. The tribunal, however, has the final say on whether or not the hearing will go ahead.