A Judicial Review application is made either to the Upper Tribunal or Administrative Court in order for a Judge to review the lawfulness of a decision made by a public body i.e. the Home Office. Judicial Reviews can be a costly and time-consuming process and should only be made if the Claimant feels that the decision was illegal, irrational, or unfair. Therefore, careful consideration should be given before going down the Judicial Review route to avoid costs being awarded against the Claimant. Our Immigration Solicitors in London have the knowledge and expertise to review potential Immigration Judicial Review claims and are happy to arrange a consultation to discuss each individual case in more detail and ensure no totally without merit claims are filed.
When is an Immigration Judicial Review possible?
An Immigration Judicial Review claim should only be made as a last resort; meaning all other appeal rights (including Administrative Review, if applicable) should have been sought and exhausted. Judicial Reviews can be made in the following circumstances:
- If an asylum or human rights claim has been certified by the Home Office so there is no in-country right of appeal;
- If a visitor visa application has been refused, as this application carries no statutory right of appeal;
- Refusal of EEA applications where all of the appeal rights have been exhausted;
- Unlawful immigration detention;
- If there has been an unreasonable delay, through no fault of the Applicant, in the Home Office making a decision on an application;
- If permission to appeal at the Upper Tribunal has been refused but it can be demonstrated there has been an error of law – see our article on CART Judicial Reviews for further information on this.
Judicial Reviews can also be used to challenge a migrant’s imminent removal/deportation from the UK. This would be an urgent case and is called applying for an “injunction”. This is an emergency interim measure to prevent imminent removal.
What is the time limit for an Immigration Judicial Review application?
Claimants should not delay in making an application for Judicial Review. Whilst the deadline for making a Judicial Review claim is longer for than a statutory right of appeal, Judicial Review claims should be made within 3 months of the decision being challenged was made.
What is the Pre-Action Stage to Immigration Judicial Review?
Where a challenge is not urgent, Claimants must comply with the Pre-Action Protocol stage pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). This can also be referred to as a Letter Before Action. This means that the Home Office is invited to reconsider its decision within 14 days of the Letter Before Action. If the Home Office maintains its decision or fails to respond to the Letter Before Action within the time-frame, then Claimants can proceed with seeking permission for Judicial Review.
What is the Permission Stage to Immigration Judicial Review?
Before making an Immigration Judicial Review application, Claimants (in England and Wales) must first get permission to do so. For claims to the Upper Tribunal this is done using claim form T480 which is found online. Judicial Review applications in the High Court of Justice Administrative Court must be made using claim form N461. It is important that the correct claim form is used and Claimants should check with an Immigration Practitioner, such as our Immigration Solicitors in London, before submitting an Immigration Judicial Review claim form.
Claimants should prepare a Judicial Review bundle which includes reasons (“grounds”) for why they are making a Judicial Review claim, what remedy is being sought and supporting documents, which are to be lodged with the claim form. This must then be lodged at the relevant tribunal either by post or in-person.
A copy of the Judicial Review bundle must then be sent (“served”) to the Home Office. Within 9 days of the application being lodged, Claimants must then also complete a Statement under Upper Tribunal Rule 28A (2) (b) using form T485 confirming to the Upper Tribunal that this has been done. Failure to do so will result in the Judicial Review claim being terminated.
We have recently posted an article on submitting a Judicial Review claim during the COVID-19 pandemic as normal procedures have been temporarily amended.
What happens if I am refused permission for Immigration Judicial Review?
An independent Immigration Judge will consider the permission application and bundle and if refused, the Judge will usually provide a written determination setting out the reasons for the refusal (decision given “on papers”). If this is the case then Claimants have the opportunity to request for an oral reconsideration which will be heard before a Judge. However, an oral reconsideration is not possible if in the refusal for permission the Judge deems that the claim is totally without merit.
What happens if I am granted permission for Immigration Judicial Review?
If permission for Immigration Judicial Review is granted either initially on papers or later during the oral reconsideration hearing, then at this stage the Home Office will usually concede and try and settle the claim out of court. Claimants will be issued with a consent order which sets out an agreement. Agreeing to the consent order means the Home Office will withdraw from the Judicial Review claim and reconsider its initial decision. Usually, the Home Office should make a decision within 3 months. Alternatively, if permission is granted and the Home Office doesn’t concede, then the claim will do to a substantive Judicial Review hearing.
What is the Hearing Stage of an Immigration Judicial Review?
An Immigration Judge (different from who granted permission) will hear the Claimants case in detail during a hearing. Beforehand, Claimants (or their legal representatives) must prepare a comprehensive bundle that must be sent to the Tribunal and Respondent (the Home Office) in advance of the hearing. Typically, the Judge will not be considering any new evidence as he/she will be reviewing the lawfulness of the Home Office’s decision at the time with the evidence they had available to them. A skeleton argument should also be prepared, setting out the Claimant’s arguments which consist of case law and legal points. This must be served to the Tribunal and Home Office no later than 21 days prior to the hearing. If a Claimant has a legal representative during the hearing (which is advised) then, unlike normal statutory appeal hearings, the Claimant will not be expected to speak. It is unlikely the Judge will make a decision on the day of the hearing and Claimants should wait to receive a determination in writing.
What are the outcomes of an Immigration Judicial Review?
If an Immigration Judicial Review claim is successful then the Tribunal will revert the case back to the Home Office for them to reconsider the decision, the Tribunal will not make a fresh decision on the initial application. However, this does not mean that the Home Office will not come to the same decision if they follow the correct legal process. Claimants may also be able to claim back costs from the Home Office (i.e. solicitor’s fees) if the Judicial Review claim is successful.
If the Judicial Review claim is unsuccessful then it may be possible to seek permission to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal. Claimants who have unsuccessful Judicial Review claims will also have to pay the Government Legal Department’s costs (the Home Office’s lawyers).
What are the fees for an Immigration Judicial Review?
Fees for an Immigration Judicial Review are paid at each stage. At the time of writing the tribunal fees are as follows:
- Permission Stage – £154; and
- If permission is refused and the Claimant seeks an oral reconsideration – £385 – a further £385 is due if the oral reconsideration is successful; or
- If permission is granted and the Claimant proceeds with the Judicial Review – £770
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a Judicial Review application
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 an Immigration Judicial Review application. 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 Judicial Review claim; 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 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 an application for Judicial Review before your application even reaches the Tribunal. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Judicial Review application and ensure that it 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.