Asylum Support Tribunal guidance
First–tier Tribunal - Asylum Support (AST)
The First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support) is part of the Social Entitlement Chamber.
The Tribunal considers appeals against decisions made by the Home Office in relation to the provision of asylum support.
Asylum support is the provision of accommodation and/or financial support to asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers, and/or their dependants provided by virtue of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
A person may appeal to the tribunal only in the following circumstances:
(a) Where they have applied for and been refused asylum support by the Home Office.
(b) Where they are already in receipt of asylum support but the Home Office has decided to stop their support.
Any other decisions made by the Home Office are outside the jurisdiction of the Asylum Support Tribunal.
Appeals are decided at a hearing by a single tribunal judge. They are members of the judiciary appointed by the Lord Chancellor who are wholly independent from the Home Office.
An appellant who wishes to appeal has to lodge a Notice of Appeal within three days of receipt of the decision appealed against.
The appellant can decide that the appeal is heard by an oral hearing or on the papers alone. In certain cases an oral hearing can be substituted for a paper hearing if the tribunal considers that it would be helpful to its decision for the appellant to attend.
If there is an oral hearing, the Home Office may be represented by a Presenting Officer. An interpreter will be provided in an appellant’s own language if required.
In many appeals, an appellant is often unrepresented. The tribunal judges are highly experienced in dealing with parties who are without legal representation. In some cases, appellants may be able to utilize the services of ASAP ( the Asylum Support Appeals Project). This is a charitable organisation which provides free legal representation and advice to appellants at the hearing centre.
At the hearing, the tribunal judge will consider all the evidence – both the oral evidence (if any) and any documentation before them along with any submissions made by the parties:
(a) Allow the appeal - in which case asylum support may either be granted or it will continue.
(b) Dismiss the appeal – in which case the Home Office decision is confirmed.
(c) Remit the appeal – the Tribunal asks the Home Office to look at its decision again – if, for example, some new evidence comes to light which has not been considered or they have failed to consider or obtain evidence which is relevant to the appeal.
There is no right of appeal against the decision of the tribunal judge.
The tribunal centre is located at:
2 Clove Crescent
The tribunal consists of the following:
Deputy Principal Judge
Two full –time salaried Tribunal Judges
20 part –time Tribunal Judges
All the judges sit in more than one jurisdiction and have a considerable experience of sitting in tribunals and in courts.
They are assisted at the tribunal centre by an extensive administration – which acts as clerks and ushers.
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