to visit their family in the UK following Regulations laid last week.
The new right of appeal created by the Immigration and Asylum Act
1999 will be available from 2 October 2000.
weddings or funerals, appeals will be fast tracked to try to avoid
the purpose of the visit being missed. To provide this priority
service, the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA), the independent
tribunal which will hear these appeals, has recruited 32 more
part-time adjudicators and extra staff to provide a streamlined
process for the expected 19,500 appeals per year.
There will be a choice between an appeal which can be decided on
paper by an adjudicator and an appeal involving a full oral hearing
which is only expected to be needed in a minority of cases involving
witnesses. The fee will be payable when the appeal is lodged with the
visa section at the British mission where the visa application was
refused. It will be paid by the appellant and refunded if the appeal
The fees, like other court fees, are intended to cover the full cost
of providing this service. This means that the cost of a paper-based
appeal will be£150 and the cost of a full oral hearing will be£500.
1. A visit visa is valid for six months and is necessary for a person
who applies for entry clearance to enter the UK as a visitor. The new
appeal right applies to people visiting close family members
including first cousins and step relatives and unmarried partners.
2. The estimated 19,500 appeals is based on the expectation that half
of those refused visas to visit their family will wish to appeal when
the new right is introduced.
3. The new right of appeal is in addition, not an alternative, to the
current practice whereby all visit visa refusals are reviewed by the
entry clearance manager. Additionally, applicants or sponsors can
still request that a visa refusal be re-examined through the joint
entry clearance unit or via their local MP.
4. The fee for the appeal covers all the costs to the IAA. The
additional cost to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in handling
appeals and reviewing decisions will be covered by the initial visa
5. The government originally proposed fees of£280 and£580.
Following consultation, it has decided to set the fees on the basis
of the lowest estimate of the cost, rather than the previous
mid-range figures. There is always some difficulty in predicting the
exact cost of a new service, and the government has decided that
appellants should not have to take the risk that the costings were
too high. The revised fees also exclude the cost of further appeals
against an adjudicator's decision which will only arise in a minority
of cases. The government intends to review the fees after a year in
the light of the actual costs.