Appeals are allowed for a variety of reasons but often result because of new evidence being presented before the tribunal which was not available to the decision maker at the time of the initial decision. Other reasons for appeals include the situation where the decision maker or immigration officer has applied or interpreted the law incorrectly, where the immigration officer did not follow the correct procedures, or where the appeal is brought under human rights provisions.
However, the news that nearly 50% of UK immigration and asylum decisions that go to appeal in England and Wales are overturned has prompted the Law Society to suggest that the UK’s immigration system is “seriously flawed” and that these applications are not being dealt with correctly.
The Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, also stated that Ministry of Justice figures have shown that the number of appeals being upheld has been increasing for the past three years.
The Law Society’s president, Joe Egan, stated that “we know there is good practice in the Home Office and officials who clearly want to make a difference, but each error or delay may – and often does – have a devastating effect on someone’s life”.
The Home Office has defended this statistic by saying that appeals are upheld for a variety of reasons, mostly due to new evidence being presented. They added that the Home Office has been meeting its targets for processing “straightforward” visa applications but that “some applications can be complex and require more information before we reach the correct decision”.
Nevertheless, this is an issue that needs to be fixed before Brexit kicks in as the UK Visa and Immigration service is likely to face possibly the biggest influx of applications in its history when EU nationals living in the UK seek to settle their status post-Brexit. This will increase the need for a reliable and efficient immigration system, making improvements more pressing than ever.
The concern surrounding this post-Brexit system comes as the Migration Observatory think tank warned that thousands of EU nationals entitled to live in the UK could inadvertently become illegal residents after Brexit because they will struggle to complete the necessary paperwork. This could be due to already being in a vulnerable position in the UK, for example suffering from social and cultural isolation, or living in poverty or lacking sufficient English language skills. For others, becoming inadvertently illegal could also result from them simply not realising they need to apply.
Gherson are experts in dealing with UK immigration matters. Should you or your family members wish to speak to a member of our team please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.