Yesterday the Government published a consultation paper proposing new fees for proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal (immigration and Asylum Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (immigration and Asylum Chamber).
In a move that, if it comes to fruition, will devastate the ability of many migrants both EU and non-EU applicants to appeal and immigration decision in the tribunals, fees may increase by up to 600 percent in some cases.
A breakdown of the increases
According to the paper, the following proposals have been made:
- increasing fees in the First-tier Tribunal from £80 to £490 for an application for a decision on the papers
- increasing fees from £140 to £800 for an application for an oral hearing.
- a new fee of £455 to be introduced for an application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.
- a fee of £350 for an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal, where permission has been refused by the First-tier Tribunal,
- a fee of £510 for an appeal hearing where permission is granted
The Government’s justification for the increase
The Government’s justification for the proposed increase in fees is that the current burden on the taxpayer must be reduced. The paper stated that the courts and tribunals service cost £1.8 billion in 2014-15, but only £700 million was received in income. This leaves a net cost to the taxpayer of around £1.1bn in one year alone.
By increasing the fees to the proposed level, the Government expects to raise an extra £37 million per year.
Proposed exemptions from the increases in fees
Individuals who will be exempted from the increases will include:
- those who qualify for legal aid or Asylum support;
- those who are appealing against a decision to deprive them of their citizenship;
- those children bringing appeals to the tribunal who are being supported by a local authority.
The Government also plans to extend exemptions to protect children being housed by the local authority and the parents of children receiving local authority support.
Further extensions to the exemptions scheme may be added following the consultation period.
Exemptions are not mentioned for those who are in the UK on the points-based system.
This announcement will be a further blow to migrants, who have been stripped of their general right to appeal decisions by the Home Office under the points-based system since 2015. Now they are facing the prospect of paying an enormous fee to access justice through the immigration tribunals.
Our lawyers will monitor the consultation process with interest.
OTS Solicitors is a London based immigration, Employment and litigation firm. We are recognised throughout the UK as experts on Immigration law. Please contact our London office on 0207 936 9960 to make an appointment with one of our team.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0203 959 9123.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Friday, 22 April, 2016