COVID-19 Update for Judicial Review Applications to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary UK has updated advice and procedures for Judicial Review applications to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber in light of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. The Judicial Review process can be costly and time-consuming and is not something that should be taken lightly. Therefore, having your immigration case reviewed by our Immigration Solicitors in London should be the first step before proceeding with the Judicial Review application and we are happy to arrange a consultation to discuss your options.

What is the recent update for Judicial Review Applications during COVID-19?

As of last Wednesday, 28 April 2020, Judicial Review applications to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber can be lodged via email in keeping with the current government social distances guidelines. Claims that do not require urgent and immediate consideration should be filed as follows:

  1. By email to [email protected], by post or at the fees counter when the counter re-opens
  2. Attachments to emails sent to [email protected] must not, in total, exceed 25 MB per email. If they exceed this limit the email will not be delivered.

Payments can be made online unless, due to exceptional circumstances, a Claimant successfully applies for “Help with Fees”.

If the application is urgent, then Claimants must continue to use claim form T483/T484 and this can be filed by either email or fax.

What does a Judicial Review do?

An Immigration Judicial Review is a way to review the lawfulness of a decision, action, or failure to act from the Home Office. The purpose of the Judicial Review is to ensure the Home Office has acted in a lawful way. If a Judicial Review application is successful, the Home Office may reconsider its decision or act in accordance with the relevant directions.

What is the Judicial Review Process?

A Judicial Review claim comes in different stages and not all Judicial Review claims go to the final stage. The three states of a Judicial Review claim are:

  1. The Pre-Action Stage –Claimants set out the elements of the Judicial Review Application by submitting a Pre-Action Protocol (“PAP”) Letter (or “Letter Before Action”) to the Home Office department dealing with Judicial Review claims. The PAP Letter must be comprehensive and follow a defined format as set out by the Upper Tribunal in its new court guidance and in the CPR. Applicants should ensure that the Pre-Action Stage is duly completed before proceeding to the Permission Stage to avoid adverse costs orders.
  2. The Permission Stage – If the Claimant doesn’t receive a response or if the response is inadequate then the Claimant applies for permission to make a Judicial Review Application. The permission application is first considered on papers and then if refused, the Claimant has the right to request an oral hearing so that the permission application can be considered again. If permission is granted, then the Judicial Review Application can proceed to the final stage.
  3. The Hearing Stage – If permission to make a Judicial Review claim is granted, the Upper Tribunal provides extensive directions for the matter to proceed to a substantive hearing. It is important to ensure that all directions made by the Tribunal are complied with before a substantive hearing is held to avoid the Judicial Review application being refused as well as adverse costs orders. At the substantive hearing, the Tribunal considers the Judicial Review application fully with all the evidence provided. If successful, the Judge can grant the Claimant appropriate relief.

What is the difference between Administrative Review and Judicial Review?

Administrative Review and Judicial Review are two ways to challenge a UK Visas and Immigration decision. However, there are many differences between the two and we highlight some of the main differences below:

  • If a visa application is refused, it may state in the decision letter that the decision can be challenged by way of Administrative Review and therefore this should be the first avenue that an Applicant takes if wishing to challenge the decision. A Judicial Review claim is a ‘last resort’ and may only be used once all other appeal rights have been exhausted;
  • An Administrative Review can only be made if there has been a case-working error and no new evidence can be considered that wasn’t submitted with the initial application;
  • An Administrative Review must be made within 28 days or 14 days of the Home Office decision depending on whether the application was made from outside or within the UK respectively. The first stage of a Judicial Review, however, needs to be made within 3 months;
  • An Administrative Review is considered by a senior Home Office caseworker whereas a Judicial Review claim can end up before a judge if it goes to the hearing stage;
  • The Home Office fee to file an Administrative Review is currently £80 whereas fees for a Judicial Review is considerably higher at every stage; and
  • If a Judicial Review claim is filed ‘without merit’ then there may be adverse cost consequences for the Claimant, whereas this is not the case for Administrative Review applications.

Can I still see an Immigration Lawyer given the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?

Yes. We are a technologically advanced law firm and are well equipped for the current situation and have the resources and infrastructure to support you with any UK immigration issue.

We are actively monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 situation and will continue to follow advice and guidance issued by the UK GovernmentPublic Health England and the NHS.

The well-being of our team and our clients is our priority. We are following the advice to maintain social distancing, therefore we will hold all meetings with clients via video conferencing or via our telephone conferencing facilities for the foreseeable future.

Please contact our Immigration Team to arrange a consultation with us so we can assess your case in more detail and give you advice specific to your individual circumstances.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a Judicial Review application to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber

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 application to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. 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 application 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 Judicial Review application, 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 applications to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber 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 application to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber 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 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.

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