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Immigration Appeal Rights: first swing of the wrecking ball

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People who apply after Monday 20 October for leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student, or their dependants, will no longer get a right of appeal in the First Tier Tribunal if their application is refused.

The Government’s Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules released yesterday, replaces appeal rights for Tier 4 applicants with a new in-country process of “administrative review” where there has been a “caseworking error”.

This is in line with the provisions of the Immigration Act 2014, which will eventually dismantle the Tribunal appeals system entirely for all but human rights and asylum claims.

The procedure for administrative review is detailed in the Immigration Rules, in a new Appendix AR (continuing the Home Office’s attachment to “innovative” document numbering). Reviewable caseworking errors include “where the original decision maker applied the Immigration Rules incorrectly”. However, an administrative review will not cover situations where an applicant has other grounds to remain in the UK (for example, a subsidiary human rights case).

“Human rights” cases will continue to attract a right of appeal in the Tribunal, but the overall effect of the changes to the appeal system is that a new application for leave on that basis would have to be made before such an appeal could be made. This means that many people with human rights cases will be forced into becoming overstayers, and have to endure the Government’s “hostile environment” before their situation is resolved.

If you are affected by the changes to the law, or if you have any other immigration enquiry, please contact Kitty Falls at our Southampton office.