How do I make an immigration appeal against a visa decision?
An immigration appeal is heard by one or more judges in a number of locations in the UK. There are no juries in immigration appeals tribunals. Judges are legally qualified, and there are sometimes other members of the tribunal (non-lawyers) who also hear appeals.
If the Border Agency refuses your application, they will send you a letter informing you of their decision. This is called your ‘notice of decision‘. The notice of decision will also state your appeal rights.
Applicants for some types of visa have full rights of appeal if their application is refused. The most common types of visa applicants with full rights of appeal are:
- partners, children and other dependent relatives of British citizens or settled persons, who are seeking to come to the UK with a view to settlement; and
- family visitors, who want to visit qualifying family members in the UK.
If you have the right of appeal, UKBA will send you an IAFT-2 appeal form with your notice of decision. They will also send an information document explaining how to complete the appeal form.
An Immigration Hearing
An immigration hearing is held by way of an appeal once an application has been made and refused. This may be because of a prior:
- Refusal to allow someone entry to the UK.
- Refusal to give someone leave to remain in the UK.
- Refusal to allow someone asylum in the UK.
- Refusal to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
- Refusal to deport someone who is already in the UK.
How do I appeal for an extension, switching and settlement applications?
If the UK Border Agency makes a decision that affects your ability to remain in the UK, you might be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration Chamber) of HM Courts and Tribunals Service. In some cases, you can appeal from inside the UK. In other cases, you will need to leave the UK before you can appeal.
When UKBA sends you a letter (called a ‘notice’) telling you their decision on your application, this will say whether and where you can appeal. If you can appeal, the notice will also tell you how to appeal, and give you details of organizations that may be able to help.
For more information about appeals, see the Ministry of Justice website. In most cases, you must pay a fee when you make an immigration appeal. To find out what the fee is and when it needs to be paid, see the guidance accompanying your notice of the decision or the Ministry of Justice website.
If you have paid a fee for your immigration appeal and are successful the Tribunal may make a fee award against the UK Border Agency up to the amount of the application fee that you paid; either 80.00 for a determination on the papers or 140.00 for an oral hearing.
Fee award payments are credited to the bank account or credit card that the payment was made from. If your account is no longer in use UKBA will contact you for alternative bank account details. You will need to give them this information as soon possible to avoid a delay in payment.
Making an immigration appeal from outside the UK
If you want to appeal and you have the right to appeal, you must:
- complete form IAFT-2 and send it with your notice of decision to the address or fax number at the bottom of this page; or
- complete and submit an online appeal form on the Ministry of Justice website.
You must complete the form in English. You should explain why you think UKBA was wrong to refuse your application. It is in your interest to complete the form as thoroughly as possible. You must provide a current contact address.
If you appeal using form IAFT-2, you or your representative (if you have one) must sign the form or it will be returned to you.
If you have documents supporting your grounds for immigration appeal, you should send these with the form. These documents must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation. Use standard A4-sized paper only for your supporting documents, and do not use staples. Paperclips are acceptable.
Your form must be received no later than 28 calendar days after the date when you received your notice of decision. At ICS Legal, we will advise you on the appeal process and what legal grounds can be raised. Email us at email@example.com with a copy of the decision letter or call our team on 0207 237 3388 (outside the UK +44 207 237 3388).
You can book a telephone consultation using our online feature, click here. As part of our process, we will advise you on the following:
- Analyse and review your initial application and supporting documents.
- Examine your refusal letter.
- Draft detailed grounds and give legal reasons as to why your application should not have been refused.
- Submit your legal appeal on your behalf to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
- Liaise with the Tribunal and the Home Office and ensure the appeal process is handled smoothly.
- One of our Legal Experts will represent you before the Immigration Judge where your UK Visa Appeal will be heard.
What happens next?
You appeal will be accepted when the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)(FTTIAC) receives your payment. The FTTIAC will then notify the visa office that refused your application, by sending them a notice of receipt.
An Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) at the visa office will review UKBA’s decision to refuse your application, in light of your immigration appeal form and any supporting documents that you have sent. If the ECM is satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, they may overturn our original decision and issue you with a visa or entry clearance.
If the ECM does not overturn the decision, an entry clearance officer (ECO) will write a statement explaining why the ECM has upheld the decision to refuse your application. UKBA will send this and all your papers (known as ‘the appeal bundle’) to the FTTIAC. They will prepare and send your appeal bundle within:
- 20 working days for non-settlement and family visitor cases; or
- 90 working days for settlement cases.
- These timings exclude postage times to and from the visa office.
The FTTIAC will:
- list your appeal for hearing;
- send copies of all the relevant papers (including the ECO’s written statement) and supporting documents to UKBA and to your representative or sponsor; and
- advise you of the date and time of your hearing. UKBA has no control over when your appeal will be heard.
An Immigration Judge will hear your appeal in the UK. When considering your appeal, the judge will look at all the evidence provided by your representative and by the ECO. He or she will determine your appeal on the individual details of your case in line with the Immigration Rules.
The judge will inform the FTTIAC of his or her decision no more than 10 days after the hearing. The FTTIAC will then send that decision (known as a ‘determination’) to everyone involved.
If your immigration appeal is successful
If the Judge allows your appeal, his or her determination will be sent to the relevant visa section, which will in turn contact you. It can take up to 4 weeks for determinations to reach the relevant visa section, and a further 8 weeks for them to be processed. The visa section will write to you using the contact details provided on your appeal form.
Please do not contact the visa section until 12 weeks after the date when you or your representative received the judge’s decision. This date will be stated on your written determination.
Do not contact the FTTIAC or UKBA’s immigration enquiry bureau about your appeal after you have received your allowed determination. They will not be able to issue you with a visa or deal with your enquiry.
Contact the First-tier Tribunal
To submit an appeal by post or fax, send it to:
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
Fax: (+44) (0)116 249 4214
To find out about the progress of an appeal, or for more information about the appeals system, contact:
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 7866
Phone: (+44) (0)845 600 0877
Fax: (+44) (0)1509 221403
- Where can you get advice? UK Border Agency staff are not able to give help or advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for. You can contact ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you need help with your application or advice about the UK’s immigration law and requirements, you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser. This will ensure that your representative meets approved standards and is properly qualified to advise you.
In the UK, immigration advisers are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). ICS Legal are regulated by the OISC at the highest level which is Level 3. We are also authorised to conduct litigation work in line with the OISC JRCM which includes conducting judicial review applications.
If an adviser (or the organisation that the adviser belongs to) is regulated by the OISC, it should display the OISC logo. The OISC website contains:
- a list of regulated immigration advisers who do not charge for their advice or services; and
- a register of regulated immigration advisers who charge clients for their advice or services.
You can also obtain advice from legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies.
A list of legally qualified professionals who can advise on immigration matters is available from:
- the Law Society of England and Wales
- the Law Society of Scotland
- the Law Society of Northern Ireland
- the Institute of Legal Executives
The Law Societies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Institute of Legal Executives cannot provide direct help or advice on visa applications. They can only provide a list of law firms who can advise on immigration matters.
Can you get funding for your appeal? You may be entitled to have your representative paid for by the Legal Services Commission’s Community Legal Service’ (CLS). To find out whether you qualify for this funding, contact:
Community Legal Service
Legal Services Commission
85 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8TX
Phone: (+44) (0)845 608 1122. Web: www.legalservices.gov.uk.
Please do not send your appeal to the Legal Services Commission. You should always send your appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber, or the visa section where your application was refused.
ICS Legal Immigration Appeal Representation
We represent client’s to the First Tier Tribunal and to the Upper Tribunal. We also challenge decisions made by the First Tier Tribunal. The following pages will provide directions on how our services work and the level of help we can give to you. We know that once an application is refused or you have been to the Tribunal & have been denied, it is difficult sometimes to understand the reason and the best way forward is to go back to the beginning and start again.
- Appeal process and representation offered by ICS Legal. Click here to read more information on this process.
- If your application did not attract the right to appeal but have been given a right to complete an administrative review, click here to read more information on how this work and the help we can provide you with.
- Finally, some applications does not attract a right to appeal, so you may need to submit a formal representation and in most cases, you may wish to proceed with a judicial review. Click here to read information on how we can submit a formal representation.
Challenging the decision and getting the Entry Clearance Manager reviews
We have over turned 70% of our cases without going to the Tribunal by disputing our client’s cases with the British Embassy & UK Border Agency. The grounds of appeal and providing further evidences can help your immigration appeal.
We also make direct contact with the British Embassy or the Home Office in the outside the UK/within the UK to resolve matters without taking this through the appeal process, saving time, stress and money.
Client’s best interest
We have our “client’s interest at best heart” which means we will always look at the merits of the appeal. Our last audit by the OISC showed that we are doing “exceptional work” on our appeals which includes preparation to the Tribunal, namely the appeal bundle which are served to the Tribunal.
The appeal bundle consists of a number of important elements which are required procedurally and also to give you the best chance to win the case. The Tribunals have acknowledged how well we are presenting cases and Immigration Judges have commented on our work. Our work is to ensure our client’s case is handled professionally and we have never received a complaint from a client where we have mis-handled their appeal. We strive to provide the best legal representation as we understand the stress you go through an appeal.
Our clients refer a number of clients to us because of the way we manage and deal with appeals. Sometimes we advise our client not to appeal due to a number of errors made by the client which can save you time and money, not mentioning the stress you go through. Please talk to us today on 0207 237 3388 and have your first consultation to understand your merits on the appeal & we can guarantee that we will never let you down. That is ICS Legal Promise. If you would like to get in contact, use our contact form by clicking here.
Get the best and expert help on your Immigration Appeal
E-mail us your decision letter from the British Embassy or the Home Office at email@example.com or complete our contact form by clicking here. 100% best and accurate legal advice. That is ICS Legal Promise.
How we will help you?
If you have been refused whether this is in the UK or outside the UK, it is important to understand your legal position. Whilst an appeal is open to you, it may not always be the sensible approach. As we say to all our client’s, approach the appeal at a common sense approach.
First, we would advise that you email us a copy of the decision to firstname.lastname@example.org. When emailing us, we ask that you provide us with details of your full name, the applicant’s details, and the best contact number for you. After that, we would advise that a consultation is booked, which can be either on the telephone or in person, whichever you prefer.
As part of our consultation, we would then assess the reasons for refusal and advise on the probability of obtaining reconsideration of the decision, or if appealing, the likely success rate. We will advise on alternatives that may be available such as a fresh application. Our fees for handling the whole appeal process will be made clear at our meeting before you decide on instructing us.
If you do decide to appeal:
- We would draft grounds of appeal and serve the same upon the First Tier Tribunal, also advising relevant parties that we now represent you in this matter.
- On many occasions we have, after serving grounds of appeal, managed to get the refusal reversed. Should this be the case, you will only pay our fee for drafting and serving the grounds of appeal.
- In the event the appeal proceeds to a full hearing we will fully prepare all documentation relating to the appeal including Witness Statements and Skeleton Argument. We will ensure that you have enough notice of documents you need to supply that are to be relied upon at the hearing.
- We will ensure that you and any witnesses are fully briefed before the hearing and if need be a conference arranged with the Barrister who will represent you at the hearing. We work closely with a number of Barristers Chambers who have extensive experience in Immigration and Human Rights law, so rest assured you will be in safe hands from the beginning to end.
- ICS Legal prior to the hearing will conduct a conference to discuss the process of the appeal, how it will work, go through the issues raised and the most common questions asked. We then have a conference with our Barrister and discuss your appeal prior their attendance, and we also inform them of your concerns etc.
- On the day of hearing the Barrister will meet you before the hearing and will answer any last minute concerns you may have. At the end of the hearing the Immigration Judge will inform you of when you can expect to receive a decision. However from experience there have been occasions when the Immigration Judge has made a decision on the day.
- If the appeal is successful we will advise you of the next steps to obtain your visa.
If your appeal is unsuccessful we will advise you on next steps such as a fresh application or appealing to the Upper Tribunal and the merits and costs for doing so. An appeal to the Upper Tribunal can only be made if the Immigration Judge has erred in law.