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What Happens at an Immigration Hearing?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Dec 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]
I had a hearing 2 months ago for a spouse visa appeal and they said the decision will be written and should come within two weeks but i havent recieved anything. What should I do?
Etaf - 11-Dec-17 @ 8:20 PM
Please how do you check your application if the judge allow your appeal and the home office agree that they will write to you as soon as possible and now it’s with the Post decision officer please can any one tell me how to check. Please I need help
TD - 8-Dec-17 @ 7:18 AM
@PK did you apply for a spouse visa ?
rose - 28-Nov-17 @ 10:17 PM
Suzie when we appealed back in Feb 2016 we had to wait till May 2017 for a date. It can take upto 12 - 18 months for spouse visa appeal dates
PK - 25-Nov-17 @ 10:55 PM
I arrived to the UK in 6 12 2013 I calm asylum seeker then I waited 3 years to get answer from the home office! They refused me then I went to the first court the judge said yes but the home office applied! After 7 minutes or more I did the second court and judge said that he agree with the first court but the home office applied again! Why the home office make people suffering all this time! What's wrong I lost four year in my life if they want me to kill myself just tell me
L - 25-Nov-17 @ 1:22 AM
Hi my husband visa was refused on the 8th May 2017 so appealed to the upper tribunal been waiting for a date or a decision .. today’s date is 23rd November 2017 does anyone know roughly how long I might be waiting fr a hearing or decision . Thanks
Suzie - 23-Nov-17 @ 11:06 PM
Hi all, I had my appeal (in country) last month on 14th, Got decision on 22nd of August. on the 9th of September got £140 back from Home office. On 9th of October got Post Appeal Unit wrote a letter to me confirming that they are going to implement the decision as soon as possible today (22nd of November ) I check the status of my application and its change to decided. Hopefully within next few days I would get the BRP. Wish you all good luck who are still waiting. Its been long and hard journey.
ikkie - 22-Nov-17 @ 11:36 AM
@Mil - tschhh. The only advice is to get pregnant! What a calculating way to bring a child into the world. Especially, if the person who is applying might not actually want a child :(
Rowbsz - 7-Nov-17 @ 10:52 AM
My husband's spouse visa was refused, im a British citizen, a teacher uk is my home where I've grown up. Judge decided that I can go and live in India in safety! Asked for permission to appeal to the first tribunal it was refused, applied to the upper tribunal the chance to appeal and it was refused... we got married in december 2015... November 2017 ... still fighting the system got to apply again ... another year and a half wait ... Advise from solicitors is to get pregnant ... Justice .... will keep everyone updated... :)
Mil - 6-Nov-17 @ 8:12 PM
Hi All, I received a letter from UKVI saying that leave to remain as spouse has been granted and I should receive my Biometric card in 10 days. When I check application status online todayit still says awaiting for the decision. I recived the letter dated 21/10/17 on 2nd of November 2017. My appeal was allowed on 6th of August 2017. Do not trust the online as it’s not 100%. Thank god the things end positively and me and my wife can live a normal life. I cannot imagine that we had to go through this all. Feels good to feel normal again. I pray for all of you to have the positive outcome too. I know it’s very very stressful but for now keep yourself very busy learn as many things as you can because stress does not help. Keeping busy helps you a lot and makes you feel normal. It’s a top tip(ignore if it doesn't apply or you don’t agree).
Sam - 6-Nov-17 @ 2:53 PM
@sirijana hopefully buy next week you should here from the post decision caseworker unit. Because I have been waiting from 22nd of june that's when my appeal was allowed. Have you been checking your visa application status?Mine has been waiting for a decision from the 31st of July. I should take about 90 days.
nice - 6-Nov-17 @ 2:12 PM
What do you mean second hearing ? Was it at the upper tribunal ?
Bi - 5-Nov-17 @ 9:26 PM
Hi I attended the hearing on 4 Oct 2017 for spouse appeal but still haven’t received any thing from court . Is that any problem court taking too much time and this is 2nd Hearing
Rashi - 4-Nov-17 @ 9:41 AM
my ftt hearing in IAC Taylor House London was dated 31 october 2017 ,,but got a notice of Adjourned Hearing ..which states my appeal will be heard on 23 November 2017. Is this normal?confused
Limbu - 2-Nov-17 @ 5:38 AM
I have waited 5years for our spouse visa. My partner came to UK on visit permit and over stayed his had a human rights case which was running when i met him. We got married 2012 and sent off all papers in 2013 for spouse. We completed the requirements also had a registry done. 1st the HO refused our application stating marriage was not genuine. Then we challenged this they accepted and said will let us know we waited over an year we wrote to them our solicitor wrote all we got was we are considering your application. In 2017 it wad refused and we had an option to go tribunal which is in Dec. 5 long years and this what are the chances of us getting this. Also everyone i ask they say have a child it will be easy. I understand but with the strain and stress its so difficult for me. Ive had miscarriages and i can not put myself through this again and again. I would like to know what would the judge ask and do people without children get visa
Ishy - 26-Oct-17 @ 11:04 PM
HI My hearing is cumming on the 13 of December 2017 on My wife visa refusal but i was also sent a pre hearing paper review on 29 November 2017.What does this mean ??i am scared. thanks
ossy - 25-Oct-17 @ 12:27 PM
I recived letter from court on 2nd of August saying appeal is allowed. Up to date nothing heard from UKVI. It's nearly 3 month after appeal was allowed.
Sam - 24-Oct-17 @ 7:58 PM
My recived letter from court on 2nd of August saying appeal is allowed. Up to date nothing heard from UKVI. It's nearly 3 month after appeal was allowed.
Sam - 24-Oct-17 @ 7:54 PM
Hi all, I had my appeal (in country) last month on 14th, Got decision on 22nd of August. on the 9th of September got £140 back from Home office. On 9th of October got Post Appeal Unit wrote a letter to me confirming that they are going to implement the decision as soon as possible but with no such deadline. I guess wait is yet continue until I finally get the BRP. Any idea of timeline from now on?
ikkie - 24-Oct-17 @ 2:22 PM
my fft was accepted by judge but the home office are appealing wot is the success ofthem winningthis
shane - 13-Oct-17 @ 9:50 AM
It's a privilege to be amongst you. What are the probably outcomes of ftt hearing.
Surf - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:10 AM
Testimony - Your Question:
Hello guys, am so happy to find myself in this forum cos, it's really helping people. Please I need some help here. My ftt was refused but, I was given a form to request for an ut. It's been 4 months now but, not gotten any responds from them. Could someone advice me please?

Our Response:
I'm afraid your only recourse is to contact the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) directly, please see gov.uk link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 6-Oct-17 @ 2:08 PM
@testimony were you given a form to apply for permission to appeal at the upper tribunal? Or did fft give you permission to appeal to the upper tribunal straight away? FFT refused me to appeal at the upper tribunal. So I've had to fill in a form to apply for permission to appeal at the upper tribunal. I'm waiting for 2 weeks! Please keep us updated.
N - 4-Oct-17 @ 5:26 PM
Hello guys, am so happy to find myself in this forum cos, it's really helping people. Please I need some help here. My ftt was refused but, I was given a form to request for an ut. It's been 4 months now but, not gotten any responds from them. Could someone advice me please?
Testimony - 3-Oct-17 @ 8:07 PM
I won my appeal 2nd of August got the letter 14th of August..pls do I still have a long time to wait..tanks all
Tive23 - 25-Sep-17 @ 9:19 PM
Good news. Congratulations Nice. My appeal was allowed on 4th of August but haven't heard anything yet.
Sam - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:41 PM
Hello guys today I received my biometric and passport. After my ftt appeal has been allowed. In total I am waited 12 weeks. God is good.
Nice - 21-Sep-17 @ 4:07 PM
Thanks mari I will keep you guys posted.
Nice - 21-Sep-17 @ 2:25 AM
@Nice - good luck. I hope it is positive! Mari.
MM - 19-Sep-17 @ 1:43 PM
@nice Thank you. So hopefully end of this month, I may get latter from post decision casework team. Thank you for the update. I will keep you guys post here. Good luck to all :)
Ikkie - 19-Sep-17 @ 12:40 PM
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