Massive increase in fees for submitting appeals to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) to come into effect on 10/10/16 – changes to the fee only apply to decisions taken after 10/10/16.

 

The cost for appeal to proceed on paper (written appeal) is to rise from £80.00 to £490.00 and an application for an oral hearing will rise from £140.00 to £800.00.

 

Currently there is no fee for making an application to the Upper Tribunal (UT) or for an appeal hearing in the Upper Tribunal but this is to change from 10/10/16 to £350.00 for an application to UT for permission to appeal and £510.00 for appeal hearing in the UT.

 

These fees are payable per appellant so for example a family consisting of father, mother and three children will have to pay £490.00 or £800.00 depending on whether they want a written or oral appeal and there fees will be £490.00 x 6 or £800.00 x 6.

 

Oral hearings are usually the best option, especially if there are issued with credibility. A written appeal can relied upon when there is only a legal technical issues that can be resolved by written submissions without hearing any evidence and there are no credibility issues.

 

Because of the astronomical increase in fees it is therefore important that Appellants consider whether they are entitled to an exception to the appeal fees.

 

No fees are payable where the Appellant is;

 

  1. Where a person has parental responsibility for children who receive support from local authorities.
  2. A child for whom accommodation is provided by a local authorities
  3. Those Appellants who qualify for public funding or asylum support funding
  4. Those Appellants who appeal decisions to revoke their refugee or humanitarian protection status
  5. Those persons appealing against a removal decision under Section 47 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 200 (where a person has made an “in-time” application for variation of leave to remain or where the UKBA is curtailing leave to remain. It extends leave until any appeal variation or curtailment decision is determined)
  6. Where the Appellant has made an “in-time” application and the decision on the application is pending or appeal against refusal has not yet been exhausted – Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.
  7. Section 3D of the 1971 act – where a person’s leave has been revoked or curtailed with immediate effect and any appeal against the decision has not yet been exhausted
  8. Appeal against a decision to remove an EEA national or their family member.
  9. A regulation provides that no fee is payable for an appeal brought by an Appellant who is physically present in the UK and liable to Immigration detention whether the requirement to pay the fee will be incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1988. There is a decided case (on the application of Omar) v the SSHD [2012] EWHC 3448 (admin) where it was held that an application fee may breach Human Rights where an applicant has been given a protected status in the UK and cannot be removed and is required to apply for Further Leave to Remain but cannot afford the fee.
  10.  

It is also possible to apply for reduction or omission of fees where the Lord Chancellor is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which justify doing so. The Government is proposing to provide, clear guidance on the use of the Lord Chancellors powers in this situation. This list is not exhaustive. The Gov.uk website refers to a leaflet f495a for guidance on help with appeal fee’s.

 

Those who have been assed as destitute by the Home Office will not be required to pay a Tribunal fee

 

Fee Awards

 

There is existing regulations which permit the FTT to order the Home Office to pay the appellant costs for submitting the appeal to the court where they allow an appeal. The test is whether the appellant had to appeal to establish their claim, which could and should have been accepted by the decision maker. In those circumstances the Appellant should be able to recover the whole of the fees they paid to bring the appeal but the fee will not be awarded because the appeal has been allowed mainly because of evidence produced only at the appeal stage that could or should have been produced earlier, or the Appellant has otherwise contributed towards to need for the appeal by their own action or in-action.

 

Costs against the Home Office in conducting Litigation

If the Home Office has acted unreasonably in conducting the appeal it is possible for the court to award the costs incurred by the Appellant. This is a recent development and it will be difficult to get costs against he Home Office but should be tried where for example the Home Office have not given full disclosure or failed to review before a hearing date the merits of their case where it was plainly unarguable.

 

Disclosure of Evidence

Putting forward the best evidence possible in applications it is therefore essential in trying to recover fees from the Home Office and replying to all responses from the Home Office when they request further information/documents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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