Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
The purpose of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal is to hear and decide appeals against decisions made by the Home Office and officers in diplomatic posts abroad who can issue visas.
One or more immigration judges may hear an appeal. They are sometimes accompanied by non-legal members of the tribunal. Immigration judges and non-legal members are appointed by the Lord Chancellor and they are independent of the government.
Appeals are heard in a number of centres around the United Kingdom.
If you make an appeal, you will usually attend the hearing with your legal representative. The Home Office will also have a legal representative at the hearing.
The immigration judge, or panel, will decide whether your appeal against the Home Office decision is successful or not (this is known as the decision being 'allowed or dismissed'). The tribunal's decision will be given to you in writing. It is called a determination. In certain circumstances you may be able to apply to have the tribunal's decision reconsidered. The Home Office may also be able to ask to have it reconsidered. There are different ways of making an application for reconsideration, depending on whether your appeal was heard by a single judge or a panel.
Types of appeals
An individual may be eligible to appeal a decision to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
An immigration appeal relates to a person who has applied for further leave to remain under any of the Points Based System Tiers which allow extension in-country, or to live permanently in the United Kingdom.
Family Visit Visa
A family visit visa appeal relates to a person who has been refused a visit a family member in the UK.
A human rights appeal is where a person claims their basic human rights have been breached.
An application to be released on bail from a person detained under the Immigration Acts.
An asylum appeal relates to a person who is under threat in their own country and looks to the United Kingdom for protection, for example during times of civil war.
The Appeals Process
If your application is denied, The Home Office will send an appeal form and guidance notes to you with their decision. Should you not be proficient in English and submit an application in your native language, you must separately attach a translated form in English, and signed by the translator to certify that the translation is accurate.
Your appeal form must be received by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) with the prescribed time as detailed on the letter of refusal.
If your appeal will not be received at the AIT by required date, you must explain why you were not able to submit it in time. The reasons will then be assessed to decide whether there are special circumstances that allow your appeal to proceed.
If you are outside the United Kingdom and wish to appeal against the decision of an entry clearance officer, you may also give notice of appeal by serving it on the entry clearance officer.
Please note if you are outside the United Kingdom your appeal will not be listed for hearing until after the entry clearance officer has considered the appeal papers and prepared an explanatory statement giving full details of the reasons for refusal.
It is unlikely that a decision will be reached on your appeal the day of your hearing. The written decision of the AIT, called a determination, will be sent to you and to your representative if you have one. The determination will state whether your appeal has been successful (allowed) or unsuccessful (dismissed) and will give the reasons for the decision.
Review of Decisions
Applications for reconsideration of dismissed appeals may be granted on the grounds it made an error of law. If your appeal has been allowed, the Home Office may apply for a review of the decision in the same way. If the AIT orders a reconsideration of the appeal there will be a new hearing date set.
The application for review must be made within 5 days of receiving the determination if you are in the United Kingdom, or 28 days if you are outside the UK.
If your appeal is allowed and the Home Office make no review application, the Home Office will issue the necessary documents to you, either directly (if you are in the UK) or through the Embassy (if you are outside the UK).
While not having legal representation does not prevent you making an appeal, it is recommended that you seek legal representation for your appeal as early as possible.
AIT will provide an interpreter free of charge who will translate for you during the hearing. If you require an interpreter, you must inform AIT immediately, preferably in your appeal form. You may bring your own interpreter but they will not be allowed to speak officially in the hearing room nor interpret the proceedings for you. If you elect to have AIT provide an interpreter for you, you are not permitted to speak to them outside of the hearing room.