- What happens if your asylum application is refused?
- Appeals to the First Tier Tribunal
- What happens after an asylum appeal?
- Appeals to the Upper Tribunal
- How can IAS help refused asylum seekers?
- What happens at the appeal hearing?
- How much does it cost to appeal an asylum refusal?
- How long does an asylum appeal take?
What happens if your asylum application is refused?
Making a claim for asylum is a complex process, you can only claim asylum once in the UK and need to do so as soon as possible to have the best chance of success. After making your claim you will need to go through a rigorous and intense process to prove that you have a genuine fear of persecution, this includes attending an interview in which you may be questioned about difficult events.
Unfortunately, asylum cases are often refused due to the tough Home Office decision making process. In the year ending December 2020 only 41% of initial Home Office decisions resulted in a grant of asylum or another form of protection.
Having an asylum claim refused can be devastating, for many it is not safe to return to their home country. However, there is still hope for your asylum claim even if you have been refused initially. The Home Offices decision-making when it comes to asylum cases is poor, they are quick to refuse any cases they doubt and often do so wrongly, this is evidenced by the high number of asylum appeals that are allowed. In the year ending December 2020 39% of all asylum appeals were successful and the Home Office had to reconsider their initial decision.
If your asylum application is refused, you may need to rely on the courts rather than the Home Office to provide you with the protection you need, you can do this by launching an appeal. An appeal is a formal legal challenge of a Home Office decision. During an appeal a judge at an independent court will look at your application and has the power to overturn the Home Office’s refusal.
If your asylum claim has been refused you should contact a legal representative as soon as possible, they can support you through the appeal process.
Appeals to the First Tier Tribunal
The First-tier Tribunal is the first court you have access to if you are appealing a refusal by the Home Office.
Not everyone has the right to appeal a Home Office decision but asylum seekers and refugees can launch an appeal if the Home Office has:
- Refused your protection claim – either an asylum claim or a claim for humanitarian protection
- Revoked your protection status
- Refused your human rights claim
An immigration lawyer can launch an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal on your behalf.
Alternatively, you can launch an appeal yourself. You have 14 days to launch your appeal from the date that your refusal letter was sent. If you apply for an appeal after this deadline you will need to explain why and the tribunal will decide whether they can still hear your appeal.
You can apply for an appeal using either the online application process, or visa post by completing and sending Form IAFT5. When making your application you will also need to submit documents that support your appeal.
You can ask for a decision to be made by the tribunal based solely on your application and the supporting documents that you have submitted or you can request a hearing that you and a legal representative can attend. The tribunal may decide to schedule a hearing even if you have not asked for one.
If you have an oral hearing you don’t need to send all of your evidence at the time of your application. You may have to wait many months for your hearing, during which you may have obtained new evidence that you can take with you.
What happens after an asylum appeal?
After you have made an appeal against your asylum refusal you will receive a decision in person or by post. You’ll usually receive a decision within 6 weeks. The tribunal will make one of two decisions, they will either allow your appeal or dismiss your appeal and uphold the Home Office’s original decision
If the First Tier Tribunal allows your appeal this does not automatically mean that you will be granted asylum and given refugee status so that you can remain in the country, it simply means that the Home Office must reconsider its decision on your claim.
Both you and the Home Office can appeal the decision of the tribunal and the tribunal can also order either you or the Home Office to pay the other’s costs if either is seen to have acted unreasonably.
If your appeal is allowed the Home Office will then revise their decision, they may reconsider your entire application if your circumstances have changed since your appeal application.
Appeals to the Upper Tribunal
If you lose your appeal in the First Tier Tribunal the next step is to take your asylum case to the Upper Tribunal. You can ask for permission to make an appeal to the Upper Tribunal if your thing there has been a legal mistake in the First Tier Tribunal’s decision.
For example, you think the tribunal:
- Did not apply the correct law
- Did not interpret asylum law correctly
- Did not follow the correct procedures
- Had no evidence or not enough evidence to support its decision
If you lose your appeal at the First Tier Tribunal you will be given a form to ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal when you receive your refusal letter. To appeal to the Upper Tribunal you must complete this form and send it with a copy of the decision letter to the address on the form.
If you’re inside the UK you have 14 days to apply for an appeal at the Upper Tribunal or 28 days if outside the UK. There is no fee for appeals to the Upper Tribunal.
How can IAS help refused asylum seekers
The legal process for appealing an asylum refusal is very complex, you will need to provide a substantial amount of evidence to prove that the Home Office’s decision should be reconsidered. Here at IAS, our immigration lawyers have an in depth knowledge of the UK immigration and asylum system. They are able to use this knowledge to assist with many different types of human rights appeals, including asylum appeals.
It is very difficult for asylum seekers to successfully appeal a refusal themself, having the assistance of an immigration lawyer will increase the chances of you winning your appeal. Our immigration lawyers provide professional legal advice and support throughout the administrative review process, this includes submitting the appeal application on your behalf, helping you to gather all of the required evidence and representing you at the hearing centre. If you lost your initial appeal, our team also provide guidance and assistance with judicial reviews at the Upper Tribunal.
All of the services above are part of our Appeal Package. This package will ensure that you are given the highest quality support from top quality immigration professionals throughout your appeal journey. Our lawyers will also be on hand to answer any questions that you may have about your asylum case or the appeal process.
For more information about our Appeal Package or to find out more about any of our other services, get in touch with our team today by calling 0333 363 8685.
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You will usually receive a decision about your appeal application within 28 days. Once you have had your hearing the First Tier Tribunal will usually give you a decision on your appeal within 6 weeks. However, it is worth noting that it can take months for you to get a date for a hearing.
If you have an appeal hearing you will receive a letter containing details about how to attend, you may need to attend in person or by video link or phone. If you are not able to attend the hearing yourself then you can ask someone to represent you and ask witnesses to attend.
During the hearing you may need to give evidence and answer questions.
The hearing will normally be attended by:
- A judge, sometimes with other tribunal members
- A clerk and other tribunal staff, to help run the hearing
- Your immigration lawyer if you have one
- A Home Office ‘presenting officer’, who will argue the case for the Home Office
- Any witnesses called to give evidence
- An interpreter, if you’ve asked for one
Your sponsor, members of the public and the press or media can also normally attend an appeal hearing.
Your hearing may be adjourned as ‘part heard’ if there is not enough time to finish it, or it cannot be resolved on the day. If this happens, the tribunal will arrange another hearing with the same people present.
The application for an appeal of your asylum decision costs:
- £80 without a hearing
- £140 with a hearing
You may not have to pay for the appeal if you get asylum support, legal aid or services from your local council and you’re under 18.