Earlier this year the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, published a 68-page report which is highly critical of the internal Administrative Review process as introduced by the Immigration Act 2014. The Administrative review process is an internal Home Office review process which was introduced as a replacement to the old system of appeals against refusal of many immigration decisions. The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, published a report earlier this year into how well this process is working and found significant room for improvement.UKVI Home Office Administrative Review Process Criticised
Room for Improvement of Administrative Review
The Independent Chief Inspector’s (ICI) report considered a sample of Administrative Review decisions and found that in several cases the Home Office had incorrectly maintained a previous refusal decision that should have been withdrawn. In other cases, where the inspector of borders agreed that the Home Office had correctly maintained the previous refusal decision it found that the Administrative Review decision letter contained incorrect reasoning.
The ICI also found that no internal review process has been introduced to replace one important category of appeal which was removed, which was against curtailment of leave. There is no right of appeal nor is there an Administrative Review, despite this being promised at the time of the passage of the Immigration Act 2014.
The report also found that overall there was significant room for improvement in respect of the effectiveness of administrative review in identifying and correcting case working errors, and in communicating decisions to applicants.
The Chief Inspector’s Recommendations and the Home Office Response
The chief inspector made 14 recommendations for improvement some of which include the following;
- The Home Office should make it clear to applicants in published guidance and on the online application form that the deadline for applying for an Administrative Review is calculated from the deemed date of receipt of the eligible immigration decision unless the applicant can demonstrate they received this on a later date.
- Provide training for admin reviewers that is consistent with the training provided to original decision-makers.
- Ensure that all reviewers address all substantive issues raised by the applicant and that decision notices accurately reflect this.
- Consider the scope to prioritise the processing of administrative reviews to meet the needs of the applicant in terms of timeliness (as in the case of some Tier 4 admin reviews).
- Clarify guidance regarding the requirement for reviewers to correct all errors contained in the original decision (not just those identified by the applicant in their admin review application), including carrying out further checks where they identify these were not done correctly by the caseworker who made the original decision.
The Home Office accept 13 of the recommendations fully and said in its response to the Chief Inspector’s report;
we are concerned by the findings, it shows quality has not consistently been of the standard to which we aspire and we have wasted no time in making a series of far reaching changes to the way we operate this activity.”
You can read the full recommendation by the Chief Inspector of Borders and the Home Office response here.
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