Increase in the fees payable for immigration appeals – Access to justice no longer affordable

The First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Fees (Amendment) Order 2016, brings shocking increases in the fees payable for appeals heard in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

From 10 October 2016, where an appellant brings an appeal to be determined without a hearing, the new fee is £490, formerly £80, which is an increase of over 512%. Where the appellant wishes to have the appear before an immigration judge, the fee is £800, formerly £140, an increase of 470%.

The likely cumulative effect of increased fees would be a total fee of £2195, where an appeal first heard in the First Tier Tribunal (£800) is refused altogether with application to appeal by the First Tier Tribunal (£455), and a permission to appeal (£350) to the Upper Tribunal is granted, and where following a hearing in the Upper Tribunal ( £510) then remits the appeal back to the First Tier Tribunal to be re-heard (£800).

In terms of immigration, right to appeal encourages even those without leave to remain to make an application to the Home Office. Without being able to appeal, the potential applicants will be reluctant to make any applications to the Home Office, and thus remain off the system and under the radar of the Home Office.

The constitutional principle of access to justice has been understood as an aspect of the rule of law, and therefore the Order seems unlawful. Whether there is any hope for the courts to declare the changes in the fees unlawful is yet to be seen.

The Order can be accessed here:

First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Fees (Amendment) Order 2016, Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 928 (L.16), 15 September 2016


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