on May 28, 2022
Read Time: 11 Minutes
It can be heart-breaking to spend so much time and effort on your visa or immigration application, only to have it rejected by the Home Office after a few weeks of waiting for a result. In such circumstances, you may be anxious to know what your rights of appeal would be.
The best defence against the potential refusal of a visa or immigration application, is taking every possible step to prevent the application from being refused in the first place. Applications are often rejected due to such factors as inaccurate information on the form, a lack of the necessary evidence for the application, or sections of the form not having been filled in at all.
This is where working closely with skilled and experienced immigration specialists, such as those of Cranbrook Legal, can greatly prove its worth. We can fill out the form on your behalf, and assist you in ensuring you put together the strongest possible visa or immigration application to minimise the likelihood of Home Office refusal.
Even with the most fastidious preparation of the application, however, it can never be entirely ruled out that the Home Office could refuse the application. If this happens to you, depending on your circumstances and the nature of your case, there may be a number of options to consider for your next step. Those may include appealing the decision, seeking an administrative review or judicial review, or even just making a new application.
Two common routes, as we will explore in this article, are an immigration appeal or a judicial review. However, these two routes are typically used in quite different circumstances.
Cranbrook Legal can help you with your appeal. Our immigration specialists are experts in their field. They can provide you with advice on how to move forward with your application. This includes supporting you during any setbacks, appeals and the creation of new immigration forms.
Let us help you understand the difference between immigration appeals and judicial reviews. That way, you will better know which will be the best for you. You can learn more by calling our law firm at 0208 215 0053.
As you most likely already know, there are many different types of visas you can apply for to come over to the UK. To name a few, there are standard visitor visas, marriage visas, family visas, student visas, work visas, along with many more.
If you tried to fill out your immigration application on your own, it’s likelier that you will have made a mistake on it. After all, you didn’t have a legal specialist by your side at the time to help you with the tricky paperwork.
There are lots of reasons why you may have received a rejection when it came to your application for a visa to the UK. Some of the most common reasons for rejection include:
At the moment, the rate of rejection for UK visa applications is around 15%. However, your likelihood of a refusal is likely to at least partly depend on the type of visa you applied for.
If the Home Office has indeed rejected your application, you need to consider how you are going to appeal the decision. There is unfortunately no general right to appeal an immigration decision in the UK, so your exact options will depend on your own circumstances and the details of your case.
Applicants considering their options after a refusal can sometimes become confused as to the exact differences between an immigration appeal and a judicial review. So, let’s take a closer look at what those differences are, and the processes involved.
An immigration appeal is a formal legal challenge of a Home Office decision. Appealing a decision entails asking a judge at an independent court (separate from the Home Office) to look at your application and overturn the Home Office’s refusal.
If you are appealing a Home Office refusal, the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber) is the first court to which you will have access.
It is important to note that not all Home Office decisions have the right of appeal. Nonetheless, you will have the option of appealing to the First-tier Tribunalif the Home Office has decided to:
If you do not have the right of appeal in your particular case, it may be possible to ask for an administrative review by the Home Office. This is not to be confused with a judicial review; it involves the Home Office reconsidering the original evidence and decision, to determine whether an error was made.
When you appeal an immigration decision, you will be asking for your Appeal to be heard in front of an Immigration judge. The judge will listen to both sides of the argument and will come to a decision on your case.
Let’s say you want to appeal your visa decision with the help of a specialist immigration solicitor. Your solicitor will have to appeal online using the Government’s MyHMCTS service. They will create an account and get started on the appeal. If you, as the client, are in detention or have been refused pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, your solicitor will have to use a paper form to get started on your appeal.
The way you appeal the Home Office’s decision will depend on whether or not you are already in the UK. If you are already in the UK, and do not intend to work with a solicitor, the appeal process will go as follows:
If you are appealing from outside the UK and you aren’t working with a solicitor or immigration advisor, you will have 28 days to appeal after receiving your decision. You are urged to apply online if you can, given that these are quicker than appeals by post or fax.
In most cases, a fee applies when someone is attempting to lodge an appeal in the First-tier Tribunal. The exact amount you pay will depend on how you would like your appeal to be decided.
You may not need to pay these fees if:
It is also possible that you can get help with the court fees if you already are living on benefits, have a low income or have practically no savings.
If you win your appeal, it is very likely that the decision about your visa will be changed. There may even be a fee award given to you, which could help cover the tribunal fee you originally paid out. Expect this fee to be paid to you within 60 days.
What happens if I lose my appeal? Unfortunately, if you lose your appeal, it is very likely that the original decision made on your visa will stand. However, if you think that a mistake has been made, you can ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). You will need to prove how the law was mistaken or how correct procedures have not been followed.
Judicial reviews are a little different from immigration appeals. These reviews are specifically tied
to decisions which are unlawful, irrational and/or unreasonable.. When you make a judicial review/appeal, you are challenging a decision made about your immigration because it was ultimately an unlawful decision.
You can make this review if you think that the decision was unfair, irrational or illegal. Therefore, you will be looking to challenge how the decision on your application was actually made.
If immigration procedures have not been correctly followed in relation to your application, it is likely that an incorrect decision was made by the Home Office. The court system will then be legally required to reconsider the decision on your immigration application.
You should not apply for a judicial review if you believe that the decision was ultimately wrong. Instead, you can only ask for a judicial review if you believe the decision was unlawful. So, for instance, if the body that rejected your application did not actually have the power to make a decision on your application, this would be an example of unlawful activity.
If you think the decision was wrong, and a mistake has been made, we would recommend that you look into making an immigration appeal.
If you are applying to the Upper Tribunal for a judicial review, there are some challenges that will not be accepted by the courts. These include:
These types of challenges are better suited for the Administrative Court. Your immigration specialist lawyer will be able to help you draft an application to be sent to the court.
Your solicitor can help you download a judicial review form (UTIAC1) to start off your appeal. Once the form is completed, it will need to be sent to the regional office closest to you. You should include any supporting documents and fees.
You must make this application so that the tribunal receives itno later than three months after the decision on your immigration application was made. If the application is late, then you must explain why on the form. A judge can then decide whether or not you will still be allowed to appeal.
How much does a judicial review cost?
Just like the immigration appeal, a judicial review will cost money to apply for. Unfortunately, the judicial review will cost more than an immigration appeal, namely because it is set into different stages.
The fee for the initial application will be £154. If this application is successful, then you will need to pay extra fees to move it forward. If you are allowed to move your case to court, the final hearing will end up costing £770. There is a chance that you could be eligible for help with these fees.
You can pay for your judicial review through:
What should I do if I need emergency help with my judicial review?
If you need your appeal to be considered as quickly as possible, you can apply on the basis of exceptional circumstances. You will likely have your application reviewed on the day that it arrives at court. Two examples of these exceptional circumstances include you:
You may need to fill out a different form in order to be considered for an emergency judicial review and you may have to pay an additional fee. Speak to your solicitor for more information about your review.
Cranbrook Legal is here to help you with your visa
Whether you decide to ask for an immigration appeal or a judicial review, Cranbrook Legal will be here to support you throughout your application. We understand that the topic of immigration can feel very complicated for those who do not have legal experience. This is why we are determined to help you understand how you can move forward with your application.
Our team of immigration specialists can provide personalised advice and will be there to help you fill out your form. Even if you need help with your appeal, Cranbrook Legal’s team of specialists will be available to deal with the tricky paperwork. Let us do the hard work so that you can reside in the UK.
Even if you do not get the result you want the firsttime round, we will make sure to stick with you until you can achieve your desired status in the UK.