First-Tier Tribunal Appeal Processing Time 2024: What Should I Expect?

How Long Is The First-Tier Tribunal Appeal Processing Time in 2024?

As of 2024, it can take between 6 months and 1 year to receive a decision on an immigration appeal from the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) Chamber. Understandably, for those who are waiting to hear the outcome of their appeal from the First-Tier Tribunal, having to wait up to 12 months can be extremely distressing and worrying. In this article, we will discuss the timescales for an immigration First-Tier Tribunal appeal in 2024, why there are delays in the process, and what you can do to reduce the overall processing time in your favour.

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How Long Will My Immigration Appeal Take?

According to the latest government statistics for the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) Chamber, the average amount of time it currently takes to resolve appeals across all categories of appeal is 40 weeks. The data shows that this represents a reduction in the average processing time of 4 weeks when compared to 2021, partly due to the new digital appeal system.

To really understand the amount of time your appeal is likely to take, it is necessary to look closer at the statistics. The processing time for First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) Chamber depends on the type of appeal being made, with the highest being for asylum and protection-related cases. The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) Chamber appeal processing times by category are as follows:

  • Asylum/Protection: 53 weeks
  • Human Rights: 45 weeks
  • EEA Free Movement: 36 weeks

Why Is It Taking So Long to Process First-Tier Tribunal Appeals?

Delays in processing First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) Chamber appeals are being driven by a number of factors. According to research by the tribunal, one of the long-standing reasons relates to delays by the Home Office when sending information on individual appeals to the tribunal. Their analysis shows that this was predominantly due to workload and lack of resources during Covid; “Generally, appeals had poor engagement from the Home Office and legal representatives during the early stages of appeals, leading to information being provided late in the process often resulting in the hearing having to be adjourned and relisted. This process led to delays and poor user experience”. 

There are also frequent and lengthy delays when sending the “Home Office bundle” (the documents that are submitted to the tribunal by the Home Office forming the basis of their case). In one example cited by the tribunal, a legal representative reported they were still waiting for the Home Office to submit the bundle after 5 months.

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How Can I Reduce the Time to Receive a Decision From the First-Tier Tribunal?

There are several practical steps that can be taken to ensure a more timely decision on your First-tier Tribunal appeal matter. To ensure the fastest possible outcome for your immigration appeal, it is essential to engage the services of an Immigration Solicitor with a strong history of winning complex and urgent appeals, especially for the type of application you are making. 

Immigration solicitors like ours at Gulbenkian Andonian understand immigration first and upper-tier tribunal processes from end to end, and hence will ensure that:

a) your appeal is only lodged if appropriate, 

b) it is submitted within the 14 or 28 days deadline, 

c) it is complete with all of the necessary information and evidence provided, and 

d) any questions or issues raised are quickly dealt with. 

The second point to bear in mind is that if your immigration is particularly urgent, perhaps due to serious illness, or if you are at risk of destitution (i.e. being left without money, food, a home, or possessions), it may be possible to have your appeal hearing expedited. If this is the case, your immigration Solicitor will be able to prepare your application and a detailed covering letter explaining precisely why an early hearing date is needed. 

As part of the process, your Solicitor will provide all of the evidence necessary to prove that the reasons for expediting the hearing are genuine. This may include correspondence from a doctor or local authority. On receipt of the request to expedite your appeal, the tribunal will then review the reasons, evidence, and overall case and decide whether to offer an earlier hearing.

Final words

If you are considering lodging an appeal against the Home Office following a refusal of your immigration application or if you disagree with the decision made, it is always important to weigh up all of your options. Even if you have the right of appeal, in some cases, it may be faster and easier to choose another route. This may include requesting an administrative review if you believe a mistake was made by the Home Office case officer when making a decision on your case or even submitting a fresh application. If lodging an appeal is the best way forward given the circumstances of your case, having the support and guidance of a specialist in complex immigration appeals will give you the very best chance of a successful outcome.

Gulbenkian Andonian specialises in the most complex and urgent immigration applications and appeal cases. Our immigration appeal Solicitors have successfully assisted many individuals and their family members in overcoming overwhelming odds to remain in the UK; let us do the same for you. 

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