Appeals and Administrative Review Simplified.

We can help you with your immigration appeal or Administrative Review process. Here we tell you how

  • What is an immigration appeal?

    Where the Home Office refuses an immigration application, sometimes there is a right of appeal against this decision to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

    This appeal would be heard by an independent judge at a hearing usually attended by a Home Office Presenting Officer and you and/or your lawyer (if you are represented).

    The judge would usually make findings on the evidence they had heard and give their decisions in writing.

    If the judge finds in your favour, and the Home Office does not appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the original Home Office decision will usually be reversed

  • How would I know if I have a right of appeal to the tribunal?

    The most straightforward way of discovering whether there is a right of appeal against a Home Office refusal is by reading the decision letter/email or notice of decision provided by the Home Office.

    For example, in a decision to refuse entry clearance as a partner, the wording might look something like this:

    In a decision to refuse a partner application from within the UK, the wording in the decision letter might look something like this:

    The general position is that if a person has made a "human rights claim" and this has been refused, then there would usually be a tribunal right of appeal against this.

    Note that a wide range of visa applications are considered by the Home Office to constitute making a "human rights claim".

    For example, when a person makes a partner visa application, they are technically making a "human rights claim", and therefore have a right of appeal against any refusal (as per the two examples provided above.

    Home Office rights of appeal guidance is here.

  • Is a tribunal appeal the same as Administrative Review?

    Administrative Review is very different from a tribunal appeal, and is essentially an internal Home Office process conducted on the basis of the papers provided (i.e. without a hearing), and without an impartial judge.

    At the time of writing (January 2024), Administrative Reviews are also taking a very long to be processed (1-2 years+).

  • Do I need a lawyer to help me with my appeal?

    Many people undertake many immigration processes - successfully - without a lawyer.

    However, the appeal process is one area where we would usually suggest that legal representation or advice would be recommended.

    (And for some context, you will see where we answer this question in respect of our other services, we don't generally suggest that having a lawyer is really necessary unless you want one or there is some area of complexity in your case.)

    It is of course possible to represent yourself in an appeal, and the tribunal system is designed partially with self-represented people in mind, with relaxed rules regarding evidence etc.

    But building and representing a winning appeal - even in straightforward cases - will usually require quite a developed understanding of the relevant law, knowledge of what evidence will be required to make your case, an ability to navigate the tribunal rules and procedure etc.

    So we would usually suggest getting advice from an experienced tribunal litigator, even if it's just to assess the merits of the appeal at the outset and provide guidance on what kind of preparation might be required

  • How much does it cost to appeal a decision?

    At the time of writing (March 2024), the tribunal charges £140 to hear an appeal.

    Usually, the main cost in appealing a decision is hiring legal representation, but other significant costs can include expert reports, such as medical reports.

  • How long do I have to appeal the decision?

    This will depend on whether you will be appealing from within or outside the UK.

    Generally, if you are in the UK, you will have 14 days to appeal from the date the decision was sent.

    If you apply after the deadline, you must explain why - the tribunal will decide if it can still hear your appeal.

    However, if you are outside of the UK, you have 28 days to appeal after you get your decision. If you have to leave the country before you’re allowed to appeal, you have 28 days to appeal once you’ve left the country.


As a part of our one-off consultation service, we are regularly asked by clients to review refusal decisions with rights of tribunal appeal or administrative review.

This service can be used by those who have received a refusal and want to know about the chances of reversing it via either a tribunal appeal or an application for Administrative Review.

This service can also be useful for individuals who wish to appeal, but who want guidance on the tribunal process and procedure, and are seeking advice on the best way to build their case.

Sometimes we are instructed by individuals who have received determinations from the First Tier Tribunal and are looking to explore whether an onward appeal (to the Upper Tribunal) is possible.

We have a lot of experience running tribunal appeals, so if you are considering an appeal and would like to discuss this with an experienced practitioner then please get in touch.

We charge a flat fee of £325 + VAT for this service. You can find further details on our one-off consultation service page.

We regularly represent individuals in tribunal appeals. If you instruct us to assist with your appeal, we will manage the process from end to end, from lodging the appeal through to the final determination of the tribunal. This includes the following

  • Clear initial advice as to the merits of your appeal, and advise you on our recommended strategy going forward
  • A very high level of client responsiveness including contact by email, phone or other means during the evidence gathering process
  • Detailed scrutiny of evidence and preparation of statements
  • Instruction of experts to provide reports in support of your case (if required)
  • Collation and preparation of the documents required by the court including the Appeal Skeleton Argument, and Appellant's bundle of evidence
  • Ongoing liaison with the tribunal, Home Office, and any other relevant third parties in the management of the appeal
  • Advocacy before the tribunal, or briefing out to a barrister if preferred

There is a huge range in the time commitment required in managing an appeal, from 15 hours (at best) to complex appeals taking 150 hours+.

Depending on the complexity of the matter, and the seniority of the solicitor managing the matter, costs are likely to range from £3,500 + VAT - £20,000 + VAT for assistance within the First Tier Tribunal.

Note that this does not include disbursements - for instance, fees for expert reports - or fees for external counsel if you did not wish us to undertake the advocacy, or if the appeal progresses beyond the First Tier Tribunal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • If I win my appeal, will the Home Office pay my legal costs?

    The rules on costs in tribunal appeals are different to much of the rest of the UK court system.

    Whilst in most UK courts there is the 'loser pays' principle - i.e. a general rule where the person who loses the case can expect to pay some or all of the winner's legal costs of bringing or defending the proceedings - this does not exist in the tribunal.

    Instead, the tribunal rules allow for either side to apply for a Wasted Costs Order in the event that the other side has acted "unreasonably" in bringing or defending the appeal.

    However, the bar for this is fairly high, and unless you can show that the Home Office has acted unreasonably, you cannot normally expect the tribunal to issue a Wasted Costs Order in your favour.

    For a more in-depth look at this issue, see this case study where we obtained a Wasted Costs Order from the tribunal and the Home Office was ordered to pay around 30% of our client's legal costs: /insight/case-notes-getting-the-home-office-to-pay-your-legal-costs-in-the-immigration-tribunal/

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