Judicial review is a legal remedy available to Claimants who wish to challenge a negative immigration decision that appears to be unlawful or unreasonable. A judicial review claim should only be submitted as a last resort. The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) will consider whether alternative remedies have been exhausted before granting or denying permission to bring a judicial review claim. However, it may possible to be granted permission where there are other remedies available; if you can demonstrate that there are exceptional circumstances.
What is a judicial review claim?
Judicial review is the legal process that allows a person to challenge the lawfulness of a decision, action or failure to act of a public body such as a government department (i.e. Home Office). Judicial review should only be instigated once all the other remedies have been exhausted. Judicial review is a remedy of last resort. If there are other appeal rights/challenges available for a Claimant to use, permission to commence judicial review proceedings will not be granted. However, in some cases where there are exceptional circumstances, it is possible to acquire permission for judicial review regardless of whether there are alternative remedies available.
When can you use judicial review to appeal an immigration decision?
It is possible to use judicial review to appeal an immigration decision where the Home Office has failed to act in accordance with the law. The most common decisions challenged through judicial review are:
- Refusal of Standard Visitor visa applications;
- Failure to accept further submissions in support of visa applications;
- Refusal of business visas under the Immigration Rules i.e. Tier 1 Investor, Tier 1 Innovator, Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension, Sole representative of an overseas business;
- Refusal of family reunification visas under the Immigration Rules i.e. spouse, fiancé and unmarried partner visas; and
- Refusal of EEA documents under The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.
In some circumstances, it is also possible to appeal an unreasonable delay in issuing a document or making a decision. Removal directions can also be challenged if it can be proven that the removal would infringe rights under the Refugee Convention, European Convention of Human Rights or European Community instruments.
What are the different stages of a judicial review claim?
In most cases where the challenge is non-urgent, Claimants must comply with the pre-action protocol stage pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules and allow the decision-maker 14 days to reconsider the erroneous/unlawful decision. If after 14 days the decision-maker maintains the original decision you can apply for permission to commence a judicial review claim against the decision-maker. The pre-action protocol letter is an instrument which should not be taken lightly as it can assist in resolving the matter at an early stage without formally issuing a judicial review claim. It also gives the Claimant an upper hand when the issue of costs is discussed (see below).
If the decision-maker maintains the original decision then a Claimant can apply to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for permission to bring a judicial review claim. Once you have lodged your permission application the Home Office will ask their legal department (Government Legal Department) to take control. Their solicitor must lodge an Acknowledgement of Service and in practice will use this an opportunity to resolve the matter outside of court. This is usually a sign that the solicitor acting on behalf of the Government Legal Department is not confident in defending the claim in court. If the matter is not resolved outside of court then both parties must wait for the Upper Tribunal to either grant or deny permission to the Claimant to bring the claim. If permission is refused the Claimant can ask for permission in an oral reconsideration hearing. If permission is granted then the matter will proceed to be heard at a substantive hearing.
What are the cost implications of a Judicial Review Claim?
A key factor appertaining to judicial review is the issue of costs. The Government Legal Department’s solicitor has the power to offer a remedy outside of court before the matter reaches the permission stage and award reasonable costs to the Claimant. However, if your permission to commence judicial review proceedings application is denied by the Upper Tribunal the Tribunal has the power to award costs to the Home Office.
Can I relay on Judicial Review as a barrier to removal from the UK?
In some circumstances, where the Home Office has issued removal directions, a judicial review claim may act as a barrier to removal. The removal directions may be suspended pending the outcome of the judicial review claim. However, this does not mean that Claimants should submit weak judicial review claims in an attempt to circumvent the immigration system as it is likely the Tribunal will dismiss the claim and award costs against the Claimant. All future applications will also be adversely affected.
How our immigration solicitors can help with a judicial review claim?
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in submitting successful judicial review claims and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting a wide range of claims on negative Home Office decisions on Points Based System, Appendix FM & EEA regulation applications. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the Judicial review Claim application. Further, our immigration team works hand in hand with reputable Counsel who specialise in their chosen fields. In the vast majority of Judicial review Claims submitted by our immigration team are settled outside of court with a positive cost award to our clients.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a judicial review claim
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a judicial review claim. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Tribunal directions.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your judicial review claim succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure that there is sufficient merit in your claim prior to submission. In the event that there is limited merit in your case; our immigration team will advise on submitting a fresh application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful judicial review claim with our Immigration Solicitors in London
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a judicial review claim before your application even reaches the Tribunal. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a judicial review claim and ensure that your application has the best chance of success by preparing detailed and comprehensive grounds of appeal to accompany the claim form.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful judicial review claim applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss an application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.