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Withdrawn decisions survey


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This is a very short survey to gather information for a possible legal challenge to the Home Office practice of withdrawing decisions late in the day and perhaps to the tribunal procedure rules, which provide for automatic termination of the appeal. We are very grateful for your time. Any responses will zoom off through the Interwebs to James Packer of Duncan Lewis, who is collating information on this issue.

Please share widely.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


14 Responses

  1. Mine was withdrawn at 4pm the day before the hearing in October 2012 so while it was in sufficient time for me to know not to to attend the tribunal the following day and to advise the clients accordingly, it was too late for the clients wife to ‘untake’ the holiday day she had had to book and too late to have saved them the worry and stress of knowing that the hearing was approaching.

    The fact that the Home Office then issued a further refusal 6 days later including the briefest of brief paragraphs covering ex1 that had been omitted from the original refusal (but otherwise an identical refusal) was a further 2 fingers up to the emotional impact that appeal hearings have on clients. It then took another 5 months to get to a hearing as the second time it was listed for a hearing in January 2013, the case before over ran and mine got relisted but not until 2pm on the day.

    The hearing that actually proceeded was in March 2013 and so my clients went through the emotional process of preparing for a hearing 3 times and by the third time, my clients wife was 8 months pregnant with twins. Just to add insult to injury the HOPO on the day still had the nerve (and possibly stupidity) to sit looking at the heavily pregnant woman and say to the tribunal that they still didn’t believe the relationship was genuine! Unbelievable.

    1. I have had about three immigration appeals withdrawn at the last minute. In one particular case, it took the Home office another 6 months to make another decision and still refused the appeal. There is a second appeal which was withdrawn a day to the hearing and I’m still waiting for a response from the HOme office. This act is very distressful both to the representative and client. It is also highly unfair and amounts to injustice in a way because the withdrawal is to beat any possibility of success upon an appeal hearing taking place. The Home office staff are misusing their powers by unwatomly withdrawing decisions almost five to six months after such have been made. I do hope this is furiously challenged.

  2. Dear Colin, I must thank you for an excellent job. Since subscribing to the website, advocacy has been like a walk in the park. I only need to click and find cases to rely on. Kudos to you. (y)

  3. Is this survey likely to produce anything staisticslly significant? Your readership is self selecting, as will be those who participate.

    1. Just include that as immigration if you’d like to do a response – it is really ‘asylum’ and ‘non asylum’ we’re interested in.



  4. I have a number of these in the last two years. One an asylum application based on domestic violence and forced marriage was withdrawn on the day of the hearing and my client has now been waiting over twenty months for a new decision. Another asylum was with drawn before the day allegedly and I the client, witnesses and tribunal was only made aware on the day of the hearing. The matter I referred to in my survey response was asylum on sexuality grounds where the respondent had not made a decision on the partner and the Tribunal was insisting on proceeding so the withdrawal actually assisted my clients.

    Swings and roundabouts I suppose.

  5. I had one decision withdrawn at the actual hearing, at the invitation* of the immigration judge after submission of arguments. Ok, the Home Office did promise a new decision within 3 months. But 9 months later there is no sign of it.

    The other withdrawal was pretty much as soon as they received the grounds of appeal and they then relatively swiftly made a positive decision. But we still lost our costs.

    *in a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” manner

  6. We had ours withdrawn at the actual hearing also at the invitation of the judge. This was after the Hopo had failed even to look at the papers. The judge said he had been through all the papers and suggested the Hopo go away and take the time to go through the papers for ours and the next case together and seek guidance from her supervisor. An hour later she came back and withdrew both cases. A couple of weeks later we were harassed by capita (text, letters and phone calls)
    Today 16 weeks after the withdrawal we received a letter from the HO saying the reconsideration of the case is put on hold pending the conclusion of the MM appeal. The letter was sent out to arrive on my wife’s birthday! They still have my wife’s passport, biometric card and wedding certificate. This is stopping my wife from working despite the H.O. saying she still has the right to work until her appeal rights are exhausted. Her university teaching contract has not been renewed because of this and she has been unable to go to 4 major international conferences to present papers after she was invited.
    We were married in this country before the changes in July 2012 but were prevented from applying for a priority appointment because they restricted the appointments or turned off they system due to lack of available staff and there were no transitional arrangements for existing points system visa holders.
    The limbo continues.
    Thanks Colin for following up the wider problem of withdrawals.

  7. Ours were originally article 8 (private life) applications. By the time we appeared in the first hearing we had completed our 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK. s120 Notices were served to the Home Office and the Tribunal when this had happened. But the HOPO argued for adjournment to check our claims (Tribunal’s Directions) and then after 2 months a case worker wrote a letter to the tribunal that I was qualified for ILR but suggested to vary the original application which could not be done while the appeal was outstanding. My representative wrote back a letter by pointing this but again no response for another 2 months. Then Home Office had withdrawn a day before our second hearing. After that almost 4 months later again it refused our application under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules and we are forced to prepare for another full cycle of a fresh appeal. What a harassment and waste of time and money.