Appealing decisions

Your adviser will make the appeals

This information is to help you understand the process. Do not try to make an appeal yourself.

Decisions with a right of appeal

‘Appeal’ means asking a higher court to overturn a decision made by a lower court. There are only 2 asylum decisions that you can appeal:

  • your claim for asylum was refused and you are given discretionary leave to remain instead, or
  • your claim for asylum was refused but you are given a right to appeal.

The First Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber deals with asylum decision appeals. Your immigration status in the UK does not change while the appeal process happens, so long as you keep to the time limit for the appeal.

If you miss the time limit you are an over-stayer. The Home Office will start the process of detaining and deporting you.


Steps in making an appeal

You must go through your rights of appeal in order and step by step. You cannot miss out any of the steps.


Appealing to the First Tier Tribunal

  1. Make a note of the day and date you get any decision letters. Keep the envelope they come in safe. You might need it as proof.

2. Work with your adviser on the appeal. Write a statement about why you disagree with the decision. Write specific things about what the Immigration Officer said in their decision letter. Think           about any evidence you can collect to support your appeal like:

  • letters from family or friends, or
  • letters from your place of worship, or
  • reports from experts

Your adviser will help you work out what evidence you have to collect and sends the appeal papers to the Tribunal.

3.    The Tribunal writes to your adviser to

  • set up a Review Hearing date, and
  • a possible date for the full Appeal Hearing, and
  • instructions on how to prepare for an Appeal Hearing, and
  • asking what evidence and witnesses you want at an Appeal Hearing

4.  The Tribunal has a Review Hearing. The Judge decides if your case will go to a full Appeal Hearing or not. Normally you do not go to the Review Hearing unless your case is very complicated.       Your adviser will tell you if you need to go.

5.   At an Appeal Hearing, the Judge can:

  • allow your appeal, or
  • reserve their decision about your appeal, or
  • dismiss your appeal.


After the First Tier Tribunal Appeal Hearing

The Tribunal allows your appeal

The Home Office has the right to ask the First Tier Tribunal to look at this decision again, on a point of law. ‘A point of law’ means the Home Office believes the Appeal Hearing Judge did not apply the law properly. Your adviser will talk to you about what this means. The Home Office cannot ask the Tribunal to look at it again just because they disagree with the decision to allow your appeal.

The Tribunal reserves its decision

It can take many weeks or months to get a decision from the Tribunal. Your adviser can complain about it taking too long but they cannot make the Appeal Hearing Judge give their decision.

The Tribunal dismisses your appeal

  1. You have the right to ask the First Tier Tribunal to look at this decision again on a point of law. ‘A point of law’ means your adviser believes the Appeal Hearing Judge did not apply the law properly.
  2. Your legal adviser has 7 days to this. The Tribunal does not give this permission in most cases. If you do not get this permission you have a right to ask the Upper Tier Tribunal to look at this again.
  3. If the Upper Tier Tribunal refuses to do this, your adviser can ask the UK Court of Appeal to look at this.
  4. If the UK Court of Appeal refuses to do this, your adviser can ask the UK Supreme Court to look at this.
  5. If the UK Supreme Court refuses to do this your adviser can ask the European Court of Justice to look at this. The European Court of Justice is the highest court that can make a legal decision about your asylum claim.


What if all my rights of appeal are exhausted?

‘Exhausted’ means you have used up all your rights to appeal, up to the European Court of Justice. Get legal advice before you do anything else if you are still in the UK. You can make a fresh claim for asylum if:

  • you have new evidence to support your asylum application, and
  • this new evidence was not available to you and the wider public when your first application was being dealt with, including your appeals, or
  • your adviser gave you bad advice and something really important was missed.

Normally the Home Office rejects fresh asylum applications from people who have exhausted all their rights of appeal. You have no right to appeal against that. But if your adviser thinks your fresh claim has merit they can apply for a Judicial Review. ‘Has merit’ refers to the facts about your case, not the way the court has dealt with your case.

Making a fresh asylum application will tell the Home Office you are still in the UK. Think very carefully before telling your adviser to make a fresh application.


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