Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Revised legal aid rates for online immigration appeals from 7 October


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The government has published new legal aid rates for online immigration and asylum appeals following last month’s admission that the original system was brought in unlawfully. The highly contentious standard fees for appeals lodged under the “online procedure” have been scrapped and replaced with hourly rates.

The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 2) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1001) were laid on 16 September and come into force on 7 October. There are transitional arrangements for legal aid granted before that date.

The new hourly rates are as follows:

Controlled Legal Representation – Immigration and Asylum Online Procedure hourly rates cases
Activity London Rate Non-London Rate
Preparation and Attendance £55.08 per hour £51.53 per hour
Routine Letters Out and Telephone Calls £3.96 per hour £3.69 per hour

Legal aid for representing a client at a hearing will still be at flat rates:

Immigration and Asylum Online Procedure Advocacy Services Standard Fees
Activity Activity Advocacy Services Standard Fee
Oral Case Management Review Hearing £166
Telephone Case Management Review Hearing £90
Substantive Hearing in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal

Asylum – £302

Immigration – £237

Additional Day Substantive Hearing Asylum – £161
Immigration – £161

On the plus side, barristers will now be able to claim up to 80% of their fees in advance as a “payment on account”, up from 75% now. It should also be easier to trigger a payment on account, with further tweaks to “provide barristers with more flexibility in their arrangements for payments on account and speed up payments to them”, according to the explanatory memo.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.