Unfortunately, a lot of asylum applications are refused by the Home Office. The reasons for refusal may vary from insufficient evidence provided in support of the application to incorrect information provided on the application form.
The reason for refusal letter provided by the Home Office normally sets out reasons for refusal in detail and also provides information on how to appeal if you are eligible to make an appeal.
How can you appeal against the Home Office’s decision to refuse your asylum application?
Lodging an asylum appeal means completing IAFT-5 form and setting out grounds of appeal. It can be done online or on paper.
Once an appeal is lodged, the First- Tier Tribunal (FTT) would register it and assign an appeal number. This number is used for all the communication with the FTT.
How long you have to make an asylum appeal?
You normally have 14 days to submit your appeal to the First- Tier Tribunal from the date of the Home Office’s decision letter. It is crucial to act promptly after receiving the decision letter to be able to meet the deadline and appeal in time.
It is also very important to appeal in time for those in receipt of welfare benefits, so that the asylum support is not discontinued.
Would your asylum appeal be heard by an immigration judge?
Once your appeal is lodged in time and accepted by the Tribunal, the next step is for FTT to list it for a hearing. An independent immigration judge would hear the case if an applicant chooses his or her case to be decided at an oral hearing. Asylum appeals are normally prioritised at FTT and are listed as soon as a slot becomes available.
Oral hearing is normally attended by the Home Office representative, an applicant, his or her legal representative and any witnesses the applicant wishes to call to give evidence.
After hearing the case, an Immigration Judge normally reserves his or her decision and delivers it in writing in a few weeks’ time.
What happens after your asylum appeal is heard at the First- Tier Tribunal?
If an appeal is allowed, it means that the applicant has won the case. The Home Office normally has 14 days to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. If they do not do that or do not get permission to appeal, the applicant would be granted a refugee status.
If an appeal is dismissed, the applicant has 14 days to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on a point arising of law, i.e. if the applicant believes that the FTT Judge made an error of law in his or her determination when assessing the applicant’s case.
Should you instruct immigration professionals to represent you at your asylum appeal?
The decision is obviously yours, but asylum appeals as well as appeals in general are rather complex legal matters and most of the time requires specialist knowledge.
We can help you in a few ways.
- We can give you a detailed advice during our one-off consultation meeting outlining merits of your case, strengths and weaknesses of your claim, explaining the appeals procedure and helping you to complete the necessary forms.
- We can provide full assistance with your asylum appeal which involves drafting detailed witness statements, gathering necessary documentations, instructing experts to produce reports, representing you before an Immigration Judge.
We appreciate it might be very difficult for an asylum seeker to afford professional legal help if they are unable to access legal aid and we therefore determined affordable fixed fee scale for our services.