Immigration-related issues can be among some of the most charged and emotional topics that lawyers have to contend with, as – among other things – they can end up having a significant role in determining the course of someone’s future going forward, in addition to touching on essential human rights issues such as the separation of reuniting of families.
Attempting to go through the immigration process, only for it to not work out in your favour, legally speaking, can be devastating and it can be difficult to develop a clear sense of where to turn in the event of such a situation.
Immigration appeal is, therefore, an important part of law, and in certain modern contexts – such as with regards to the post-Brexit Situation in the EU – these particular legal questions are likely to come up more and more.
But how long does an immigration appeal take? And how does the overall process work, and how do you go about appealing?
Here is a closer look at the subject.
Are you allowed to appeal?
First things first: you can only appeal to the tribunal in order to reconsider your immigration status if you have the legal right to do so – and this isn’t universally guaranteed.
Generally speaking, the decision letter you receive will inform you if you have the legal right to appeal or not.
Broadly speaking, however, if you have been refused a tier 1, 2, 4 or 5 visa, you will be able to request the decision to be reviewed at an administrative review, and this review process is different depending on whether you applied for a Frontier Worker permit, an S2 Healthcare Visitor visa, or for the EU Settlement Scheme.
If in doubt about whether or not you can appeal the decision, speaking to a lawyer or an immigration advisor can be very helpful – although it is also possible to represent yourself if that’s a path you choose to go down.
How do you actually go about appealing an immigration decision?
There are some differences between the appeal process for individuals who are representing themselves, and for legal professionals who are appealing on behalf of someone else.
As a legal professional or immigration adviser
Legal professionals are primarily expected to appeal online, via the MyHMCTS service, for which they must have an account. Appeals using paper forms can only be filed in specific cases – in particular, if the client in question is being detained, or has been denied pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
As an individual representing themselves
As an individual representing themselves, and appealing on their own behalf, you will have 14 days following the immigration decision to lodge an appeal. For those who are required to leave the country prior to the time they are allowed to appeal, they will have 28 days to appeal from the time they have left the country.
If you miss the appeal deadline, you’ll need to explain why to the tribunal, and they will then decide if they can still hear your appeal or not.
Following an unsuccessful administrative review for a EU Settlement Scheme, S2 Healthcare Visitor application, or Frontier Worker application, you can appeal at a later stage – and your review decision will tell you how.
Ideally, you should apply online, as online appeals are received and dealt with more effectively than post and fax appeals.
How long does an immigration appeal take?
An immigration appeal may take between 6 months and 1 year to resolve.