Overview of the Asylum Appeal Process UK
The UK government reported a third of asylum cases as refused in the year ending March 2023. Even if you have received a negative decision on your asylum claim, it still may not be safe for you and your family to return to your country of origin and you may still want to seek asylum.
You can appeal this decision at immigration court and ask for a different decision from the Home Office. Here, you will be able to present your evidence to an Immigration Tribunal and explain to a judge why your case should receive a positive decision.
The appeal process is a highly time-sensitive process and it is essential it is followed closely to give you every chance of receiving a positive decision on your asylum appeal.
- Overview of the Asylum Appeal Process UK
- Reasons Asylum Claims Can Be Refused
- Asylum Appeal Process UK
- What Is the Time Limit to Submit My Appeal?
- How Do I Submit My Appeal?
- What Are the Fees and Processing Times?
- What Documents Do I Need to Take?
- What Can I Expect After Submitting an Asylum Appeal?
- How Can I Increase My Chances of Appealing Successfully?
- What Happens on the Day of My Hearing?
- What Happens After My Hearing?
- How Can Newcastle Immigration Lawyers Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Reasons Asylum Claims Can Be Refused
There are a number of reasons why your asylum claim may be rejected; it could be that the Home Office thinks there is insufficient evidence, your information is not correct, you are safe to return to your home country, or you do not meet the eligibility criteria for asylum.
If they have rejected your case, it is important to understand their reasons for refusal as this will tell you if you are able to appeal their decision.
After your interviews, the Home Office will send your decision letter by post outlining the grounds on which they made their decision. Firstly, it is important to note the date on your letter as the Immigration Tribunal will have to receive your appeal within 14 days of this date.
Secondly, it is important to understand the reason your asylum claim has been rejected because not all asylum decisions can be appealed. For example, it may be the Home Office’s refusal is certified on the grounds of being “clearly unfounded”. This means they think there is not enough evidence, or your supporting documents or story is not believable.
You are only able to appeal the decision if the Home Office has:
- Refused your protection claim
- Refused your human rights claim
- Refused you a residence document or have deported you under the Immigration Regulations 2016
- Refused or revoked your status, changed the length/condition of your stay, or deported you under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Refused or revoked your travel permit or family permit, or restricted your right to enter and leave the UK, under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Refused or revoked your permit as a frontier worker
- Refused or revoked your leave as an S2 healthcare visitor
- Revoked your protection status or British citizenship
At this point, it is recommended that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you with your appeal process, closely look at your Home Office decision letter, and help you gather further evidence to support your appeal. Contact Newcastle Immigration Lawyers today for specialist advice on how to make your appeal; call us on 0191 303 8965, or contact us online.
When you submit your appeal application, you choose on your form whether your appeal will be considered with an oral hearing (where you give evidence and speak to a judge) or without an oral hearing (the judge will read your documents and make a decision without speaking to you). It is better to have an oral hearing so you can speak to the judge directly.
At this stage, your case will be considered by a First Tier Tribunal. If your case is denied for being “clearly unfounded”, or for another reason that does not give you the right to appeal, it may be possible to escalate your claim through a judicial review.
What Is the Difference Between a First Tier Tribunal and Judicial Review?
A First Tier Tribunal will carry out an appeal and will closely look at your case and the information you have provided. It will consider what you have said in your interviews, the evidence you have provided, any additional evidence you wish to add, and listen to why you are seeking asylum. At this stage, the judge is looking for a mistake in the decision making based on your case.
The judicial review is not the same as an appeal and, instead of looking at the issues around your case, a judicial review will look at how the decision on your asylum claim was made and consider if there was a legal mistake in the decision making.
What Is the Time Limit to Submit My Appeal?
Your appeal must be received by the Tribunal within 14 days of the date the decision was sent. You should check the date on your letter to see when it was sent and submit your appeal as soon as possible.
It is very important that you meet this deadline and although it may be possible to apply for an “out-of-time” appeal, you would have to have a very good reason and it would increase the chance of the Tribunal refusing to consider your appeal.
How Do I Submit My Appeal?
You can submit an IAFT-5 appeal application form to the First Tier Tribunal online or by post.
If you are posting your appeal form, it must be posted with plenty of time to arrive at the Tribunal within 14 days.
What Are the Fees and Processing Times?
There are some cases where your legal case will be paid for, for example, you are supported by Legal Aid, are receiving asylum support payments, or are the parents of children receiving support from local authorities.
If you are not exempt, it is £80 without a hearing or £140 with an oral hearing.
Once you have completed your First Tier Tribunal appeal application form, it may take up to a year for you to have your appeal hearing.
What Documents Do I Need to Take?
You must take all of the documents you have used along your asylum application journey to your hearing, which will include your identification documents, interview notes, and all of your evidence. These documents must be the originals and not copies, and any documents that are not in English must be translated and signed by a certified translator.
What Can I Expect After Submitting an Asylum Appeal?
After submitting your appeal application, First Tier Tribunal will send you some instructions on what to do next, you will also have to send them your email address and phone number within 5 days.
The Home Office will then have to provide all the evidence, transcripts and written notes from your asylum interviews within 14 days. You should have a read through everything to understand all the information they have collected during your claim.
Within 1-2 months, you will have to provide a clearly written account on why you think the decision is wrong and include any new evidence you’d like to present to the Judge. Before you are invited to a hearing, the Home Office will review all this information and either make a new decision or maintain their refusal.
If the Home Office still refuses your asylum claim, you will be sent a Notice of Hearing from the First Tier Tribunal telling you the time, date and location of the hearing centre.
Each letter you receive from the Tribunal will tell you the deadline for your next response; missing any deadlines or submitting unclear or unfinished evidence could impact the decision made on your appeal. You can ask the judge for permission to submit late evidence if you have a good reason but it is best to meet the deadlines.
When going through the asylum process, it is very important you are transparent and stay up to date with the Home Office along the way. For example, if your circumstances change at any point from the time you apply for asylum about something not already communicated to the Home Office, you must let them know as soon as possible.
This could be a new serious health condition, a new relationship with a British partner, or a religious identity that puts you in danger in your home country. This sort of information is considered “new matter” and it will affect your asylum decision if this is heard for the first time at your appeal hearing.
Disputing your asylum refusal letter and preparing for a First Tier Tribunal hearing is a multifaceted process and it is essential that all your evidence is presented in the best way possible to the immigration judge.
Newcastle Immigration Lawyers are experts in immigration law and will be able to help you provide the right information and present your case in a way that will support a positive outcome. Call us for bespoke advice and support today on 0191 303 8965, or contact us online.
What Happens on the Day of My Hearing?
On the day of your hearing, you should arrive with plenty of time before the time listed in your letter. You will go through security and tell the Tribunal clerk that you have arrived; they will take you into the hearing room when the immigration judge is ready to hear your case.
Depending on how complex your case is, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. At this time, you (or your lawyer) and the Home Office will present your cases to the judge.
What Happens After My Hearing?
You will receive a letter after 3 to 4 weeks with the judge’s decision. If the decision is positive, the Home Office may appeal this to the Upper Tribunal or accept the new decision.
If the decision is negative and the judge has refused asylum, you may be able to appeal this decision to the Upper Tribunal. This next appeal hearing will be to examine if the judge in the first court made a mistake in the way they applied the law.
The steps that you have to follow in order to be granted refugee status in the UK are long and complicated and any misunderstanding along the way could impact your case.
A legal representative from Newcastle Immigration Lawyers can guide you through the entire process, from your initial screening interview through to an asylum appeal or accepted claim. We are compassionate lawyers who pride ourselves in being experts in immigration law and will endeavour to make the best case to the Home Office and increase your chances of a successful claim. Call us on 0191 303 8965, or contact us online today.
Last modified on October 17th, 2023 at 9:21 am
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The UK government website reports that around half of appeals made in 2022 were positive, meaning the Home Office had to reconsider their first decision.
You can stay in the UK during your appeals process; however, if you do not appeal in the time allowed or your appeal is unsuccessful, you will have to leave the UK.
Based on the UK immigration rules, you won’t be able to work or volunteer during the whole asylum process unless you have been given permission to work.
Because the hearing will be public, unless you request otherwise, you will be able to take friends or family with you for moral support and they can sit in the public area of the courtroom. However, you will not be able to take any children with you into the hearing, although they can wait in the waiting area with an adult.