As of 10th October 2016, it now costs £800.00 to lodge an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against an immigration decision if an oral hearing is requested. Previously the fee was £140.00. That reflects an increase of over 500%.
The new fees will apply where the decision that is the subject of appeal is taken on or after 10th October 2016.
This change in the law was brought about by The First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Fees (Amendment) Order 2016. It will increase the already significant financial burden on people to secure their residence rights in the UK.
The Home Office makes decisions on a variety of applications relating to foreign and European nationals who wish to come to or remain in the UK either permanently or for a defined period of time. The Home Office also deals with applications made for asylum in the UK. If a person’s application to come to or remain in the UK is refused, they have the right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) within a strict time limit.
An individual has the right to appeal number of decisions, including the following:-
- An asylum or humanitarian protection claim
- A human rights claim,
- A refusal to issue a residence card under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations,
- A decision to deport
- A decision to revoke protection status or a decision to revoke British citizenship
Now that there has been a significant increase in the appeal fee, many people with genuine grounds of appeal may be deterred from doing so simply because they cannot afford the fee.
An individual will have to pay the appeal fee upfront. Waiting times for hearing dates before the First Tier Tribunal are currently in excess of 12 months. If the appeal is successful, then an individual can recoup the fee however, they will be waiting some time to recover the cost and will only recover it on the basis that their appeal is successful.
There are exceptions to paying the appeal fee and individuals considering appealing should seek legal advice quickly.