How to Win an Immigration Appeal


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When you submit a UK immigration application, there are two possible outcomes; your request will be approved, or it will be rejected. Every applicant is normally hopeful of getting a positive response. However, considering the highly complex immigration rules surrounding the application process, getting a ‘no’ might not be the end of the road. You can opt to make a fresh application, apply for an administrative or judicial review or submit an appeal to overturn the Home Office decision if you have the legal right to appeal.

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The UK’S First Tier Tribunal that deals with immigration and asylum appeals received a whopping 26 211 appeals between April 2020 and March 2021, and about 50% of the cases succeeded. In this article, you’re going to learn why your immigration application might be rejected and how to win an immigration appeal in case of a rejection.  

Top UK Immigration Refusal Reasons

The first step to preparing for a successful immigration appeal is to understand why the Home Office disapproved of your immigration application. Well, on that note, here are some of the key reasons why immigration requests are declined in the UK:

  • Providing wrong information in the immigration application form
  • Unintentional mistakes in the application form
  • Applying on the wrong form
  • Non- payment of Home office fees or inadequate fees 
  • Having a criminal history
  • Failure to provide adequate eligibility proof
  • Failure to give a valid reason for your intention to visit the country
  • Deportation order
  • Questionable bank account transactions, making the financial capacity of the applicant questionable.
  • Failure to choose the right visa category
  • Failure to arrange the necessary documents according to the required order.
  • Incomplete documentation
  • Lack of professional guidance. When you don’t have an immigration expert to hold your hand, you’re highly likely to blunder somewhere along the way in the application process, ultimately contributing to application rejection.
  • Failure to disclose the required immigration application history
  • Unclear or excessively long itinerary
  • Doubtful about the stated monthly income. The Home Office will let you know the exact reason that contributed to the disapproval of your application in the refusal letter. The letter will indicate if you have the legal right to appeal the Home Office decision or not. In this case, to appeal is to initiate a case challenging the verdict given on your immigration application.

If there is a right to appeal, the case will be heard and determined by an immigration judge, who has the capacity to allow or dismiss it. If it is allowed, the Home Office will have to reconsider its decision regarding your application. On the other hand, if the judge dismisses the case, you may be allowed to lodge a fresh appeal.

However, even if you have the right to appeal, you need to weigh if there’s a possibility of having a more favourable decision made after submitting the appeal application. If you believe that there was an error of law and unfairness in the way that the Home Office arrived at the verdict, then seeking a way to have the decision overturned through an appeal will be a worthy cause.

Preferably, involve experienced and reputable UK immigration solicitors to explore your chances of winning the appeal from a highly informed perspective. 

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How Soon Can You Appeal?

If you’ve confirmed that you have the legal right to appeal the immigration department’s verdict, the next thing to find out is how soon you need to appeal.

Well, you should submit your immigration appeal within 28 days after getting the verdict of your application from the immigration department if you are refunded entry clearance outside the UK. Otherwise, an in-country appeal must be made within 14 days after receipt of the Home office decision. Otherwise, if you are required to leave the UK before you submit the appeal, you should appeal within 28 days after leaving the country.

The Tribunal highly discourages late appeal applications. Your application is likely to be rejected if submitted past the deadline. However, if you have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, you can still go ahead and submit your appeal application even after the 14 day or 28-day period, but you have to disclose the reason in the application. Upon evaluating the reasonableness of the reason given, the Tribunal will decide on whether to hear your appeal or not. 

What to do to Win the Appeal?

Involve a highly experienced and trustworthy legal representative 

The appeal process is mostly as complex as the initial immigration application. Therefore, you can easily mess up somewhere in the appeal application process, especially if you’re not well conversant with the immigration laws and can’t raise robust and highly convincing legal arguments. This is where the help of a solid legal representative such as our UK immigration solicitors comes in handy. 

Our firm is one of the best in the UK for handling UK immigration appeals and have been ranked as Top Tier in the Legal 500 specifically for our work in this area of law. 

We will help you do everything right for every step of the process and help you understand the entire process hassle-free. There are the possibility of further appeals along the tribunal route based on errors of law.

Provide solid documentation

Whether you’re using a legal expert or not, providing sufficient and compelling documentation to prove your full eligibility to the immigration request you’re making is pivotal to the success of your appeal. Have all the necessary documents ready and well arranged to the required order.

Be Compliant with the Tribunal Guidelines. 

The Tribunal gives a set of guidelines such as deadlines and document orders that should be followed by the applicants of each type of immigration appeals. You need to know the exact guidelines you need to follow for your appeal and ensure that you’re fully compliant when submitting your application to the Tribunal. 

How to Submit Your Appeal 

If you’re making the appeal through a solicitor or an immigration adviser, the process is pretty easy as the professional will do nearly everything for you. The immigration/legal expert will submit the application online through the MyHMCTS service unless you’re in detention. If you are detained, a paper appeal will apply. 

If you’re within the UK and would like to submit your application yourself, you can apply online or send the application by post or fax to the immigration tribunal. Otherwise, direct personal applications from outside the UK can use the internal online service

Hopefully, you are now more knowledgeable on how to win an immigration appeal and the reasons that are likely to contribute to the rejection of your initial immigration application or the appeal. At Gulbenkian Andonian, we have a robust team of UK immigration solicitors who are ready to help you lodge a successful immigration appeal. Reach out to us now for the best advice on what to do next as far as your immigration appeal is concerned.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Whether it is about a complex or straightforward UK immigration issue, buying or selling a property, divorce, employment, corporate matters, making a will, notary services or discussing any legal issue of your choice – Gulbenkian Andonian is here to help!

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    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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