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Asylum Appeal UK

If the Home Office has refused your asylum application in the UK, you may be able to formally challenge the decision. This is called your right of appeal in legal terms.

If you are seeking legal advice regarding how you can appeal an asylum refusal decision in the UK, what is the step-by-step process, or what supporting documents you need, call us today on +44 (0)161 826 9783 to speak with one of our expert immigration lawyers.

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    What Happens If My Asylum Application Is Denied?

    When the Home Office denies your asylum application, they may provide you with an opportunity to appeal that decision i.e. take the matter to court. Having a right to appeal means you have a chance to overturn the asylum refusal decision.

    The Home Office decision letter will provide a detailed account of reasons behind the refusal of your application. It will also inform you whether you have the right to appeal that decision. If you have the legal right to appeal, the letter will also provide information on how to appeal your asylum decision.

    The decision letter usually tells you in case you do not have the right to appeal, and if you can apply for an administrative review instead.

    If you are granted the legal right to appeal, you will have a chance to present your case and supporting evidence before an immigration tribunal, and to convince the tribunal why the Home Office decision to refuse your asylum claim was incorrect.

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    How Can I Appeal the Asylum Rejection Decision?


    In the UK, appeals are heard by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), which operates in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Generally, an asylum applicant will be eligible to appeal a refusal decision if the Home Office has:

    • Refused their asylum or humanitarian protection claim
    • Revoked their protection status

    The appeal process will vary depending on whether you are applying for yourself or you are a legal representative appealing on behalf of an asylum applicant whose claim has been refused by the Home Office.

    Legal professionals representing a client will have to appeal online using the MyHMCTS service. In case your client is in detention, you can appeal only by using a paper form.

    For asylum seekers appealing for themselves, the process will vary depending on where they are at the time of the appeal, i.e. whether they are appealing from within the UK or outside the country. We will discuss both situations later in this article.

    Please note that you may still be able to get asylum support from the UK government while you are awaiting your appeal decision, even if you have been refused asylum.

    You may get in touch with the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) if you have any questions regarding your appeal. The tribunal, however, cannot give you legal advice, and it is advisable to get legal help given the complexities involved in appealing an asylum refusal.

    You can call Manchester Immigration Lawyers on +44 (0)161 826 9783 to speak with our legal team.

    Urgent Appeal Applications

    In case you need to appeal your asylum refusal decision urgently, you must write to the FTT explaining why your case must be heard on an urgent basis. You will have to submit supporting evidence of a compelling or compassionate nature.

    Please mention ‘expedite requests’ on the top of any documents you are sending along with your application. Your documentary evidence will be reviewed by a judge who will decide whether the FTT will hear your case sooner than usual.

    How to Appeal from Within the UK

    If you are appealing the refusal decision on your asylum claim from within the UK, you will have 14 days to do so from the date on which the Home Office sent their decision.

    In case you miss this deadline, you will have to explain to the tribunal the reasons behind such delay. The FTT will review your reasons and decide if they still want to hear your appeal.

    You can appeal either online or on paper. It is advisable to appeal online if possible, since it is quicker than a post or fax appeal.

    How to Appeal from Outside the UK

    In case you are lodging your appeal from outside the UK, you will have 28 days to appeal after getting your decision. In circumstances where you are required to leave the country before you are allowed to appeal, you will have 28 days to appeal after you have left the UK.

    If you are unable to meet this 28-day deadline, you must write to the FTT. The tribunal will review your reasons for missing the deadline, and will take a decision on whether or not they will hear your appeal.

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      Appeal an Asylum Decision Online

      You can use the online service available on the Home Office website to:

      • Lodge your appeal
      • Upload supporting documents relevant to your asylum claim
      • Request for a hearing
      • Receive a decision on your appeal

      The above is applicable only if you are appealing for yourself. You must create an account first to apply online. To proceed, you must have:

      • Your Home Office reference number as mentioned on the decision letter
      • Any supporting evidence
      • An email address or a mobile phone number

      Please note that since this is a new service launched by the Home Office, not everyone will be able to use it at this moment. If you are unable to use this service, you may apply using a different online service on the Ministry of Justice website.

      Alternatively, you can apply by post, fax or email using form IAFT-5 if you are appealing from within the UK. If you are appealing from outside the country, you will have to use form IAFT-7 to appeal a decision refusing a human rights claim or protection claim, where you have been told that you can only appeal after leaving the UK.

      Applicants who are appealing a refusal decision from an immigration detention centre where they have been detained, can apply only by post or fax with form IAFT-DIA.

      You will have to send copies of your supporting documents along with your completed and signed application form.

      Ask for an Oral Hearing

      On the application form, there is a question on whether you would like to have your appeal decided at an ‘Oral Hearing’ or ‘Paper Hearing’.

      If you would like to have an oral hearing for your case that you and/or your legal representative plan to attend, you should go for the ‘Oral Hearing’ option. Alternatively, if you want to have your case determined solely based on the documents provided by you, you can go for the ‘Paper Hearing’ option.

      Since ‘Paper Hearing’ effectively means that the immigration judge will review your documents and make a decision based on the same without hearing from you in the court, it is advisable to select the ‘Oral Hearing’ option where you will be able to give evidence in the court in person in front of the judge and answer any queries they may have for you.

      Please note that the FTT may decide to have a hearing even if you do not opt for the same. You will receive an invitation from the tribunal to attend your hearing if so.

      Although these hearings are carried out in public, you may ask for a private hearing or permission to attend the hearing by video link., if you have a compelling reason behind such a request. Additionally, you may request for a male or female judge to hear your case, if you believe there are issues in your appeal that make such a request appropriate.

      Preparing for Your Appeal Hearing

      If you have selected the ‘Oral Hearing’ option, the tribunal will inform you the date of your hearing by post or email, with details of how to attend your hearing i.e. in person or remotely by a video link or by phone.

      In case you or your legal representative, or a witness whom you would like to submit oral evidence during your hearing to support your claim, is outside the UK and wants to join the hearing remotely, please get in touch with the FTT as soon as possible to request for the same.

      Please be conversant with your supporting evidence as well as your witness’ statement(s), if any, and prepare your argument for the hearing. It is of utmost importance that you satisfactorily answer any questions the judge may ask you during your hearing.

      You may also be required to take part in a ‘pre-hearing’, where the FTT will check whether you are ready for a full hearing.

      Required Documents to Challenge an Asylum Refusal Decision

      To appeal an asylum refusal decision, you will need to submit:

      • The relevant appeal form, completed and signed, for each person wishing to appeal
      • Copy of your Refusal Letter
      • Copy of the Reasons for Refusal, which you must have received with your Refusal Letter
      • Photocopies of any other supporting documents (please provide certified translation copies if the originals are not in English)
      • A completed Application for Anonymity form in case you do not want the FTT to publish your name on any court documents which will be available in the public domain

      Please do not submit any original documents. Also, please note that for people appealing from outside the UK, it will be helpful if they can also send any Removal Directions, Bail Notices and Deportation Order which they have received.

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        Fees for an Asylum Appeal

        The appeal fee is £80 without a hearing and £140 with a hearing. However, you may not be required to pay this fee in case you are receiving asylum support or legal aid.

        If you are required to pay a fee, you can do so with a credit or debit card when lodging your appeal online or by including your details on your appeal form.

        Appeal to the Upper Tribunal

        After hearing your case and/or reviewing your appeal form and supporting documents, the FTT may allow your appeal. However, it does not automatically mean that you will be able to enter or remain in the UK. It may simply mean that the Home Office will have to reconsider its refusal decision.

        Alternatively, the FTT may dismiss your appeal and uphold the Home Office’s original refusal decision. In either scenario, both you and the Home Office will be able to appeal the decision of the tribunal.

        If you have lost your appeal but believe that there has been a legal mistake with the FTT’s decision, you can request for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

        What If I Don’t Have the Right to Appeal?

        Your decision letter will clarify whether you are eligible to ask for a review of the Home Office refusal decision on your asylum claim. This is called an ‘administrative review’.

        As of now, it takes six months or more to receive the outcome of the administrative review, if you are in the UK. The waiting time is 12 months or more for people outside the UK.

        You will not be eligible for a second review unless the Home Office has found new reasons why the original refusal decision was correct during the first administrative review. The Home Office decision letter will mention if you can apply for a second review.

        Alternatively, you may also seek a judicial review of the Home Office decision if you do not have the right to appeal. However, please note that a judicial review looks only at how the Home Office arrived at a decision on your case, and does not review your original asylum claim.

        How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

        An asylum appeal is a complex legal matter, and often requires specialist knowledge and experience in immigration law.

        If your appeal is rejected by both the FTT and the Upper Tribunal, you have the option to go to the Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court, however, it will be a fairly time-consuming and expensive process.

        It is, therefore, advisable that you seek legal help as soon as you decide to appeal the Home Office refusal decision on your asylum claim in the UK.

        At Manchester Immigration Lawyers, we have a team of expert immigration advisers who can advise and assist you with your appeal application and supporting evidence, regardless of the complexity of your case.

        Our expert immigration advisers can offer emergency support if you have been detained. We can also provide legal representation in the UK if you are appealing from outside the country.

        Speak to one of our immigration lawyers today on +44 (0)161 826 9783.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You have 14 days to make an asylum appeal if you are in the UK, or 28 days if you are outside the country, from the date of your refusal letter. In case you are being detained in the UK, you must appeal within seven days.

                  Yes. Even if you are appealing your asylum refusal decision as a family or a group, each individual will need to appeal separately and submit individual appeal forms.