Writing in The Conversation, MigrationWork Associate Jo Wilding highlights how fee increases for Immigration and Asylum Chambers, which are due to come into effect in October, potentially deny access to justice to large numbers of people who have been told they need to leave the UK, the vast majority without having committed any offence.
Immigrants appealing through the courts for a right to remain in the UK will soon face a huge increase in procedural costs after the government announced fee hikes of over 500% for some types of appeal through the immigration and asylum tribunals.
From October 10, the fee for an oral hearing in the First-tier Tribunal will rise from £140 to £800 per person. At an as-yet unspecified date there will also be a brand new fee of £455, just for applying for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal if the first judge dismisses the appeal. There will then be another new fee of £510 to have that appeal heard if permission is granted.
While tribunals have the power to order repayment of the fee if the appeal succeeds, appeals can drag on for two years or more, leaving even a successful appellant significantly out of pocket for a long time – up to £2,115 to reach an Upper Tribunal hearing. Double that for a couple appealing together. Treble it if they have a child.