This information should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Read the disclaimer.
It is important to recognise that not all immigration decisions attract a right to appeal. It is also important for a constituent to ask for advice from a solicitor or immigration adviser if considering an appeal.
Appeals are generally heard by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum), which is administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Where to go for further information
The Commons Library briefing, Constituency casework: asylum, immigration and nationality contains useful sources of general information.
The Constituency Casework page, Legal help and the Commons Library briefing, Legal help: where to go and how to pay both provide information about sources of legal help and advice.
The GOV.UK pages, Find a legal adviser and Find an immigration adviser also point to useful sources of information.
Citizens Advice is another source of help and advice.
The Right to Remain Toolkit, provided by the non-profit organisation Right to Remain, is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system.
For constituents who decide to appeal without legal representation, there is guidance published by HM Courts and Tribunals Service:
Unrepresented appellants: Immigration and Asylum Tribunal
Appeal rights for immigration refusals are quite limited.
Generally, an appeal can only be made against a refusal based on:
- An international protection claim (i.e. refugee status or humanitarian protection)
- Revocation of protection status
- A human rights claim
- A claim for the right to remain in the UK under EU law
This means that most visa refusals do not have a right of appeal. The Immigration Act 2014 abolished most immigration appeal rights.
What is a protection claim?
A protection claim is also known as a claim for international protection or for refugee status. A person who makes an application for protection is arguing that they should be considered a refugee within the meaning of the Refugee Convention as recognised in UK law.
This includes both ‘asylum claim’ and ‘humanitarian protection claim’.
Human rights claim
The grounds of appeal must be that the decision is unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Right to remain under EU law
The grounds of appeal must be that the refusal breaches the person’s rights under EU law.
Types of appeal
Appeals to the First Tier Tribunal
There are some differences in the procedure for appealing from within, and from outside the UK.
In all cases, an applicant may only appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if he or she has the legal right to do so. They are normally given this information in the decision letter.
Appealing from within the UK
Information and links to application forms may be found at the GOV.UK page, Appeal from within the UK. Applicants are encouraged to apply online.
Appealing from outside the UK
Information and links to application forms may be found at the GOV.UK page, Appeal from outside the UK. Applicants are encouraged to apply online.
Applications made before 6 April 2015
There are special rules for appeals in relation to such applications, outlined at the GOV.UK page, Applications made before 6 April 2015.
An administrative review is an internal Home Office procedure. If an applicant does not have the right to appeal, they may have the right to apply for administrative review. This will be stated in the decision letter. There is more information at GOV.UK, Ask for a visa administrative review. This includes the procedures for those applying from inside and outside the UK, timescales and costs.
Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. There is more information at the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary page, Judicial review.
The Commons Library does not intend the information in this article to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.