The Government intends to start charging fees to lodge immigration appeals, including asylum appeals. A 12 week public consultation has been launched. You can have your say and access the relevant documents here.
The proposed fee levels are as follows:
- Around £65 for paper hearings in the First-tier Tribunal
- Around £125 for oral hearings in the First-tier Tribunal
- Around £250 for Upper Tribunal appeals (£50 for permission application, £200 for a full hearing)
It is proposed that the following be exempted from the fees regime:
- Those who qualify for legal aid
- Those applicants that are in the 'Detained Fast Track' process
- Those who are receiving asylum support
- Those whose appeals relate to deportation, revocation of leave or deprivation of citizenship/right of abode
- In other limited instances, where there are exceptional or compelling circumstances, a discretionary power will enable the Lord Chancellor to exempt payment of fees
No fees will be charged where the State begins action against an individual, such as in deportation cases or revocation of ILR.
It is also proposed that all appeals will be lodged with the tribunal in future, eliminating the lodging of appeals with ECOs or custodians in detention. This will have the side effect of lengthening the time of the appeal process, as ECOs tend to respond faster where appeals are lodged directly with them.
Extremely controversially, there is no suggestion that fees will be refundable or repaid by the Home Office where the appeal is allowed or the Home Office otherwise does something incompetent. So, as well as paying the enormous immigration fees for the 'service' provided by UKBA, it now looks like one will have to pay for the appeal to put that right.