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What Happens at an Immigration Hearing?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 23 Jan 2017 |
 
Immigration Appeal Home Office Tribunal

An immigration appeal is heard by one or more judges in a number of locations in the UK. There are no juries in immigration appeals tribunals. Judges are legally qualified, and there are sometimes other members of the tribunal (non-lawyers) who also hear appeals.

An Immigration Hearing

An immigration hearing is held by way of an appeal once an application has been made and refused. This may be because of a prior:

  • refusal to allow someone entry to the UK
  • refusal to give someone leave to remain in the UK
  • refusal to allow someone asylum in the UK
  • refusal to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
  • decision to deport someone who is already in the UK

Types of Hearings

There are two types of hearing, the Case Management Review hearing (CMR) and the full hearing. A CMR is only held in the case of country asylum appeals and cannot be adjourned. If you do not have your own representative it is very important that you attend your CMR because if no one attends the judge may decide to determine your case without a full hearing. If you need an interpreter to translate the proceedings for you, you must let the tribunal know in advance so that they can arrange one for you. If you have a legal representative they should be able to arrange this for you. Tribunal Service interpreters have more rights than other interpreters, so for obvious reasons they are a better choice.

What to Expect

You should arrive at least 20-30 minutes before your hearing date. When you get to the centre for your appeal there will be a number of cases listed for hearing at the same time. You may have to wait some time before your case is called on, but the clerk of the court will be able to give you an idea as to how long you will have to wait.

It is important to have some money with you in case you want to buy drinks or refreshments, although you will usually be provided with water in the hearing room once your case has been called on.

The hearing is usually held in a room with desks and chairs. It does not look like a traditional courtroom, like the ones normally used in television dramas. The judge(s) sits at the front of the room at a desk or table and the other people sit at tables and chairs in front of him. The Home Office representative (the respondent) will usually sit on one side of the room, and the person appealing (the applicant) and his or her legal representative (if they have one) will sit on the other side.

If you require an interpreter they will sit next to you. An interpreter must interpret the proceedings fairly and without bias. They will give their translation of the proceedings to you in a low voice or whisper during the proceedings, either while people are speaking or after a statement has been given. Any witnesses will be called into the room to give evidence as and when they are required. They are not allowed to hear the proceedings prior to giving evidence, and can only remain in the hearing after they have given evidence with the permission of the judge. As hearings are in public, there may be members of the public and very occasionally journalists present in the room too.

The Decision

The judge(s) does not decide whether or not your appeal has been allowed (successful) or dismissed (unsuccessful) at the hearing. You will be informed as to the outcome of your case in writing. If there has been an oral hearing, this will be within two weeks of the hearing date. If the appeal was on paper only, the decision is sent approximately two weeks after the hearing.

Appealing the Judge’s Decision

There is no general right of appeal although both parties, either the appellant or the Home Office, may be able to make an application for judicial review. This is a review of the case on the basis that the judge got the law wrong. There is a very strict timescale for making this type of specific application (within 5 days of receiving the decision) and it is vital that you seek advice from a lawyer before pursuing this option.

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[Add a Comment]
@K - I didn't think you could appeal from inside the UK any more. I thought you had to do it from outside?
RaJ - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:02 PM
Yeah they refused the expedition, my Mrs missed my brothers marriage in Sep 2016 and Iasked them to hear the case sooner for my Mrs to attend my brothers marriage but they refused. The spouse visa was done in India as I submitted them originally in Jalandhar, Punjab, India on behalf of my Wife. The appeal we submitted to Leicester Tribunals. Lol the initial rejection letter, the case owner who rejected it did not read the application properly as mentioned before and had so many spelling errors. but no, seriously started to affect my personal life this is now. My Mrs still lives at her parents house.
PK - 23-Jan-17 @ 11:10 PM
Expedite appeal request ? Thought about it ...
K - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:48 PM
PK did you appeal from the uk on your behalf? If so it should only take 12 months. Overseas appeal take up to 18 months
K - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:47 PM
For spouse visa it can take up to 18 months.....
K - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:45 PM
Lol tell me about it Jock, Brexit ain't helped. A minority have ruined it for the majority! My marriage is genuine and they make it as if it is not. 12 months + is just not good enough from the UK tribunals. I understand they have a surge in appeals, but when its genuine and you have nothing to hide it is hard. I understand people who applied their appeals in Sep 2015 are just being heard now!
PK - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:16 PM
@PK - there are a lot of people wanting to come to the UK or applying to stay in the UK after Brexit so currently the Home Office is a bit stretched - you have to remember the UK doesn't want any more immigration and the Home Office will do everything in their power to make things difficult - in other words there will be no helping hand. Jez.
Jock - 23-Jan-17 @ 3:05 PM
My application got refused on 3 reasons: 1) Not a genuine/subsiding relationship 2) Finance 3) Why I did not go to India more often to meet my wife Firstly the case owner in India who rejected the appeal had loads of grammar and spelling errors. On the fiance bit the case owner who rejected it clearly cocked up and thought I had a years finance of £13,000 but that was my savings and I earn over £18,600 from work which I had provided 12 months of payslips for and my P60. ANNOYED! I met my wife in Jan 2014 and Went to India in Sep 2014 to meet her for 4 weeks. I only get 6 weeks a year of holiday from Work! I used that time to see meet her a few times. I got married in October 2015 and refusal came in Jan 2016, Appealed on Feb 2016 and went to India for 3 weeks in Feb 2016 and 3 weeks in Oct 2016 as I am getting very tiresome of waiting for a court hearing, I wrote to my MP who in turn wrote to immigration who just said within 12 months and in some cases longer. Appeal time frames are a bit of a joke. I feel as if I have wasted a year + of my life waiting on the appeal for my wife.
PK - 22-Jan-17 @ 10:46 PM
For me it will be 2 years waiting i feel ur pain....my bad lucky i keep on end up in court
Miny - 22-Jan-17 @ 7:09 PM
I appealed in February 2016, and to date not heard anything from immigration. Emailed in December 2016 for an update time wise, but after a month, just got a template basic email back saying we cannot give a timescale. For crying out loud its been almost 12 months! What is also mentioned at a hearing?
PK - 22-Jan-17 @ 3:29 PM
@TheDon - you wouldn't be allowed bail buddy. They are wise to every possible trick in the book.
Nat - 19-Jan-17 @ 11:28 AM
@ George im so happy for u....ur so lucky....BAd news for me....i have to go back to court again and have to wait for another court date...another long wait and another stressfull day at court....more money spent.... all hope as been lost and just lots of tears.
Miny - 18-Jan-17 @ 7:20 PM
@ Nat: So you are saying that I'm better off board my return plane and wait for a decision from the Immigration Tribunal, rather than stay in a detention centre, right? But for Home Office to send me back home I have to sign for the ticket. What if "accidently" my passport gets damaged and can't travel because the page with the picture is unclear....... I cannot be send home and could apply for bail.... Right?
The Don - 18-Jan-17 @ 3:14 PM
Hi. Anyone can please help me... I been to my hearing on last year june.. so far nothing heard from tribunal.. if i call and ask they keep on saying judge didnt make any decision... what shall i do now???.. its nearly 7 months..
Iceboy - 18-Jan-17 @ 2:29 PM
@TheDon - if you cancel your ticket you'll be returned to you home country immediately and you wont be allowed bail (the UKVA are not that stupid). Then, depending on whether you paid for your passage home or not will affect when you'll be allowed back into the country. If you paid, it will be less time than if the Home Office has to pay. There is no way of slipping immigration law they get you from every angle.
Nat - 18-Jan-17 @ 12:58 PM
@ Miny, have you got reply yet? I got replied in my favour, but unfortunately those crook keep sending me deportation letter. Though the dead line for them to appeal against the judge decision has gone. All the best.
George - 18-Jan-17 @ 11:06 AM
Hi everyone PLEASE REPLY TO MY QUERY!!! I have booked my return ticket to London as Home Office has allowed me entry for 48 hours only. If I cancel my return ticket what will happen to me? Can I apply for bail while waiting for a decision from the Judge from my Full Deportation Hearing? PLEASE reply as I'm running out of time! Thanks
The Don - 18-Jan-17 @ 7:49 AM
U will have to go back home to make a new case...The don the new years has bought lots of hard time for us all...praying for all of us
Miny - 17-Jan-17 @ 5:21 AM
Bren- Your Question:
Hi My application was refused due to the financial requirement, I applied in march refused in may 2016, appealed in may. And I have been waiting, I don't know how long I will keep waiting.In fact my spouse is earning above 23000£ annually, I have 6 months bank statement now to make a fresh application, my lawyer informed me the new immigration act 2017 is another burden as if my application is refused again I would have to leave the uk and appeal back home. I need more advice from anyone.Thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can only give general advice, if you want further advice to get the best from your application, you would have to contact an immigration adviser here.
CourtroomAdvice - 16-Jan-17 @ 3:00 PM
Home Office has informed me that I am allowed in the UK only for 48 hours, just to attend my Hearing. They do not care if I present the bundle to the judge. I had t obook a return ticket and I have been told that I would probably be detained during my time in UK. As far as you know will I have the right to apply for bail? Also if I cancel my return ticket what would happen? Many thanks
The Don - 16-Jan-17 @ 6:14 AM
Hi My application was refused due to the financial requirement, I applied in march refused in may 2016, appealed in may. And I have been waiting, I don't know how long I will keep waiting. In fact my spouse is earning above 23000£ annually, I have 6 months bank statement now to make a fresh application, my lawyer informed me the new immigration act 2017 is another burden as if my application is refused again I would have to leave the uk and appeal back home. I need more advice from anyone. Thanks
Bren - 15-Jan-17 @ 10:28 PM
I'm sure it will all be fine soon. I totally understand, it's sad he's not with you but I'm sure it will be all well soon. Keep positive... Thats all we can do and hope...
B - 12-Jan-17 @ 5:28 PM
Thanks B! With a baby on the way it is life chaning and with no support its going to be hard...we have no control of our own lifes..my husband so stressed out aswell...we just pray that our hardship comes to a end soon.if not we have to keep on fighting onceagain
Miny - 12-Jan-17 @ 5:15 PM
Just received an email from the Tribunal informing me that my Full Deportation Hearing will be at IAC Taylor House in London, same day and time as previously arranged. Anyone has some feedback to what to expect?!?!?!
The Don - 12-Jan-17 @ 1:15 PM
Ok, Miny I really think you should write a letter to the court first tribunal .. There's no way it can take up to 5months after the oral hearing for a spouse visa entry clearance..... Keep chasing it up. Good luck I hope your husband can join you soon. Keep positive, see your husband coming soon and it will happen... Don't give up hope. Congratulations on the news of the baby. :) one good news the next one will come soon..
B - 11-Jan-17 @ 6:08 PM
My husband appeal from back home and that took a year and when the court date came it was four months later....so a long wait
Miny - 11-Jan-17 @ 5:52 PM
if you appeal from abroad does it take up to 18 months to get a court date? Is it up to 12 months of you are a British citizen and have appealed for spouse visa entry clearance ? Is it a quicker for a British citizen to get a court date or No ? Thank you!
B - 10-Jan-17 @ 7:08 PM
Haven’t hear from them yet. I got a letter from local immigration that I’m subject to deportation despite the matter is undecided by the Tribunal. It shows to me clearly that immigration have control over the Tribunal. The most annoying part of it, I’m not asylum seekers neither refugee, the aim of renew the Visa has now lasted for 3 years. Home office representative has no case against us. Yet the judge unable to make a verdict. I was told decision will be 2 weeks, now 3 months gone like magic. No Law, no right, no human right what so ever, you go to court the Judges will be questioning and fighting you as if you are a criminal. I being to court numerous time to witness few cases, the judge was like home office representative, even when the home office representative has said clearly that he has no more questions, the judge kicked start his own problem against the appellant, questions on top of questions until the appellant broke down in tears. If you can imagine the trauma lots of families are going through. You not allow to work yet they want you to pay the court fees, you paid home office application yet application refused and the money is not refundable. You see how immigration has now turn to Business republic? Ripping off poor family with thousands of pounds and guess how many undecided cases, thousands of applications multiply by millions of people, in total revenue per year they making billions of pounds.
George - 10-Jan-17 @ 3:28 PM
Haven’t hear from them yet. I got a letter from local immigration that I’m subject to deportation despite the matter is undecided by the Tribunal. It shows to me clearly that immigration have control over the Tribunal. The most annoying part of it, I’m not asylum seekers neither refugee, the aim of renew the Visa has now lasted for 3 years. Home office representative has no case against us. Yet the judge unable to make a verdict. I was told decision will be 2 weeks, now 3 months gone like magic. No Law, no right, no human right what so ever, you go to court the Judges will be questioning and fighting you as if you are a criminal. I being to court numerous time to witness few cases, the judge was like home office representative, even when the home office representative has said clearly that he has no more questions, the judge kicked start his own problem against the appellant, questions on top of questions until the appellant broke down in tears. If you can imagine the trauma lots of families are going through. You not allow to work yet they want you to pay the court fees, you paid home office application yet application refused and the money is not refundable. You see how immigration has now turn to Business republic? Ripping off poor family with thousands of pounds and guess how many undecided cases, thousands of applications multiply by millions of people, in total revenue per year they making billions of pounds.
George - 10-Jan-17 @ 3:26 PM
July 2015 Applied-refused-appealed-hearing date April 2017. totally 21 months, don't know how long will take after if my appeal allowed. Goodluck to everyone !
Ms. D - 10-Jan-17 @ 3:10 PM
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