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Immigration appeal fees coming soon


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As previously highlighted on this blog, fees are to be introduced for immigration appeals. The date has now been set for this to begin: for notices of decision dated 19 December 2011 or later.

Strangely, as far as I can see, you won’t find anything about this on the Immigration and Asylum Chamber website. One might have thought some forewarning for litigants and their lawyers might be useful there in order to avoid invalid appeals come commencement. There is a short item about it on the UKBA website, at least.

The headlines are that, for now, the moment fees will only apply in the First Tier Tribunal and that the fees are set at the following levels:

  • £80 where there is no hearing
  • £140 with a hearing

Fees are likely to rise over time and may be introduced in the Upper Tribunal at a later date.

A number of types of appeal and appellant are exempted from paying fees, including for deportation appeals, removal of illegal entrant or overstayer appeals, EEA appeals and appellants on asylum support. See the fees order paragraph 5 for the full list (link below).

The tribunal can award the cost of the appeal fee to a successful appellant against UKBA.

Also note that it will generally only be possible to lodge appeals with the tribunal itself for notices of decision dated 19 December 2011 or later. It will no longer be possible to lodge appeals with the entry clearance post abroad. It will still be possible for a detained person to lodge their appeal with their custodian, however.

For the more curious amongst you, the following links may be useful:

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


5 Responses

  1. “Fees are likely to rise over time”

    UK application fees were introduce less than 10 years ago and set at initially £150.
    Now they vary between £500 – £1,500 for the majority of applications.

    I guess that is the experience that the statement quoted is based upon. The fees were originally meant to recover the processing cost, but now a good proportion of the fee goes towards removal costs and other organisational overheads.

    Personally I think it has (and will for appeals) become another indirect tax on immigrants, as well as a way of detering appeals by the poorer sections of immigrant communities.

    Will the Tribunal perform better? Will the service improve? Will ECOs get more initial decisions correct first time?

    No, of course not. They don’t take much notice of conplaints, they ignore the results of their own consultations, and have no systems for continuous improvement. Harsh? then read John Vine’s reports.

  2. So if I’m reading this correctly, an asylum claimant will have to pay a fee unless they are supported by NASS or they are in receipt of legal aid? It seems that for those in this position- they can only get deferrment of the fee?

  3. Looking at other parts of the Tribunals system, there’s a new consultation on Employment Tribunal fees which proposes fees payable on submission of claim, plus further payments for hearings. I hope that’s not an indication of developments that might later be applied to the IAC…

    As well as acting as a deterrent to some appellants, I foresee fees acting to discourage appellants from taking legal advice at the submission stage. You then end up with badly drafted appeals, and more time needed for IJs to treat appellants fairly/deal with requests for permission to make further submissions etc…

  4. “5.—(1) No fee is payable for—

    (viii)regulation 19(3) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006(6) (a decision to remove an EEA national or the family member of such a national);”

    That means there would be a fee for appeeals against refused EEA FP, RC and PR documents? I am not sure that this is legal. (Despite the alternative of simply reapplying after rectifying the refusal reason.)

    A question:
    “It will no longer be possible to lodge appeals with the entry clearance post abroad.”

    What will trigger an ECM review? Will it happen when the post is informed of the appeal hveing been lodged with the tribunal? Or can it be sought without appealing? Or will it no longer take place?

  5. Hmm if I have read it correctly, for the asylum people, can the fee not be deferred as in article 6?

    I’ve got a query about the deportation cases. I don’t have a deportation order before me, but if I remember correctly all automatic deportation decisions are under the UK Borders Act 2007 which is not mentioned in the order. So do these people have to pay for their appeals and ordinary deportation cases do not? That would seem unfair.