Huge Increase in Immigration Appeal Fees

Earlier in 2016 the government consulted on rises to the fees charged to appeal against decisions made by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to an independent tribunal. The response to that consultation was overwhelmingly negative: respondents felt very strongly that the level of the proposed increases would deny many people access to the justice offered by the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (IAC) of the Tribunals Service.

Despite these responses, the government is pressing ahead with the fee increases.  They are very significant.  The fee changes proposed in the April 2016 consultation are as follows:

• First-tier tribunal:

— Application for a decision on the papers: an increase from £80 to £490

— Application for an oral hearing: an increase from £140 to £800

— Application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal: an increase from zero to £455

• Upper Tribunal:

—Application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal (made when the application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission has been refused): an increase from zero to £350

—appeal hearing: an increase from zero to £510

A number of exemptions will be in place to provide protection to the most vulnerable and destitute, but the fact remains that - for ordinary appellants - these fees make the option of an appeal extremely, well, unappealing.

The government response to the consultation can be viewed at http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/553387/proposals-imm-asylum-chamber-consultation-response.pdf