Close to half of all immigration and asylum appeals are upheld

Close to half of all immigration and asylum appeals are upheld as a result of ‘flaws’ in the system, according to the Law Society. The solicitors’ body is ‘raising the alarm’ on a system that is ‘already failing too many applicants and their families’ ahead of the ‘largest single influx of applications’ post-Brexit.

‘Almost 50% of UK immigration and asylum appeals are upheld – clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with,’ commented Law Society president Joe Egan. ‘… In the worst cases, adults and even children are forced to wait years for a decision – and while they wait their life is on hold: they cannot plan, may not be allowed to work, travel or access a wide range of state support.’ The Law Society was quoting the latest Ministry of Justice figures.

The Society points out that each family member applying for indefinite leave to remain is charged £2,297 while the Home Office’s own figures show the unit cost to be just £252 ‘amounting to an 811% profit’. ‘The additional costs of appealing mean poorer people may be unable to challenge an incorrect decision,’ it says. ‘For many – including investors, sponsored workers, students and victims of domestic violence – the right to appeal has been removed altogether.’

The Society points out that instead of having access to a tribunal to challenge a decision ‘claimants can either make a fresh application (and payment) or request an administrative review, which effectively entails the Home Office re-assessing its own decision’.

This article was published on April 13, 2017

Author: Jon Robins

Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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