Immigration and Asylum Chamber
If you have asked for your appeal to be decided at a hearing and you have paid your fee (if your appeal requires one) you will be notified in writing of the date, time and place of your appeal hearing.
A guide to the hearing centre and directions where your appeal is to be heard will also be sent to you. If you live outside the United Kingdom the hearing will take place in your absence.
Please arrive at the hearing centre at least 20 minutes before your hearing and give your name to the staff at reception. They will answer any questions and show you to the waiting area. If you need to leave the building at any time please tell a member of staff first.
Your appeal will be listed with other cases and you may have to wait for your hearing to start. Your court clerk will keep you informed about how long you may have to wait. They will take you into the hearing room when the judge/panel is ready to hear your appeal.
One or more legally qualified persons called Judges, sometimes sitting with non legal members of the Tribunal, will decide whether your appeal should be allowed or dismissed.
In the hearing room with you will be:
- The Judge or Judges / non legal members (if any)
- Your representative (if any)
- The Home Office presenting officer
- An interpreter (if you have asked for one)
- Witnesses (when they are called, if any)
- Members of the public (if any)
All parties should attend at 10:00am as listed Hearing times and court rooms can be changed on the day. Also please note that if you contact our Customer Enquiry Unit they can only provide information to the appellant or the named representative unless specific written consent has been provided in advance to give out details to appointed counsel.
Child care is not available at the hearing centre. You cannot take children into the hearing room with you. They can stay in the waiting area as long as there is another adult with you to look after them.
If you find that you are unable to attend a hearing, you or your representative must write to us to request an adjournment. Any request should be made direct to the hearing centre stated on your notice of hearing at least 2 working days before the date of the hearing.
Late documents for hearings
If you have documents that need to be sent to us within 5 days of a hearing, please send them direct to the hearing centre scheduled to hear your appeal. You should always send documents to the tribunal as soon as you can and also send a copy to the representative of the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), referred to as the "respondent".
Types of hearing
The hearing you are asked to attend may be one of the following:
This is a hearing to settle a matter before an appeal can proceed to a full hearing. Preliminary issues relate to validity and timeliness of appeals and are usually decided without the need for hearing. Hearings may occasionally be needed to rule on disputed nationalities or other factors preventing the appeal from proceeding.
Case Management Review Hearing (CMR)
This is a short hearing usually used to ensure that all documents are in order and the case is ready to proceed to a full hearing. A decision on the appeal will not be taken at this hearing without your consent so long as you or your representative attends, or you have permission from the tribunal not to attend. CMRs can be used for any case type, but are usually restricted to asylum cases.
For Mention Only/Pre-hearing Review
Similar to case management review hearings. These types of hearings are used to check on the progress of a case whilst it is waiting to be listed for a full hearing.
If there are sensitive elements to your appeal, the tribunal can arrange for it to be listed in with an all male or female court. You should inform the Tribunal when you lodge your appeal of your request and reasons, but in any event no less than one week before the hearing is due to take place.
The tribunal’s hearing rooms are open to the public. If you have a reason why you would like your appeal to be heard without any members of the public being admitted, you should inform the tribunal when you lodge your appeal or no less than one week before the hearing is due to take place.
If you are detained, the tribunal will make normally make arrangements for your case to be heard at a hearing centre that has the facilities to handle detainees. The tribunal will arrange for you to be brought from your place of detention on the morning of the hearing.
If deemed necessary, the tribunal will allow some time for you to speak to your representative before the hearing takes place. After the hearing you will be returned to your place of detention and the decision will be issued to you as soon as possible.
If you are detained it may be possible that your case will heard by video link. This means that you will remain in your place of detention and give any evidence that you have to give by video link. You will be able to see and hear the hearing room and all the parties on a television where you are detained, and everyone in the hearing room will be able to see and hear you on a television there. If the Tribunal intends to hear your case by video link you will be informed in advance and given more information at that time.
This is the full hearing of your appeal. This is where you and your representative will present your case.
Sometimes it is not possible to complete your appeal with one hearing. If your hearing has started and there is not enough time to complete it, or an issue arises that cannot be resolved on the day, it may be adjourned "part-heard". The tribunal will arrange a second hearing with all the same parties present to complete the hearing. This is known as a part-heard hearing.
Reserved to Judge
In some cases, the hearing may not have started, but an judge has completed a lot of preparatory work or has a special interest in your case. In these circumstances they may reserve the case to themselves. This means that when your case is relisted the tribunal will list the case before that specific judge.
Deciding your hearing on the papers
On your appeal form you may choose to have your appeal decided on the papers rather than at an oral hearing. This means that a judge will make a decision based on the evidence on the tribunal’s file, without hearing oral evidence or submissions. If you have no sponsor or representative in the UK this is likely to be the way your case is decided.
You may request your appeal to be determined on the papers at any time. If your appeal is scheduled for a paper hearing, but you wish to have an oral hearing, you may write to the tribunal with your reasons and a judge will make a decision whether to allow your request or not.
Where a fee is payable on your appeal, then you will need to pay an additional fee in order for the appeal to be listed for an oral hearing. In this case, the tribunal will write to you following your request and provide you with instructions on how to pay and the fee due.
On some occasions, judges can decide that an appeal which is to be decided on papers should be listed for an oral hearing. Where this is not as a result of a request from the appellant or their representatives, then no additional fee will be required.
If you want to apply for bail, you should send or arrange for the application form to be delivered to the court or Immigration and Asylum Chamber hearing centre where you intend to make your application. This can be served on the custody officer.
If you do not know which court will deal with your application you can find out by contacting the customer enquiry unit on 0300 123 1711. You are advised to keep a copy of the application for your records.
If you are granted bail, you will be told what conditions apply. In all cases, you will have to live and sleep at the address agreed by the judge. Other conditions will depend on whether you have an ongoing appeal (that is, a pending appeal) in the tribunal.
The following information is only a summary of what usually happens. If you are granted bail, you must make sure you understand the conditions that apply to you.
If you have a pending appeal, you will be told that you must attend every hearing of your appeal unless you are given permission by the tribunal not to.
If you do not attend a hearing, then you may be treated as having broken your bail conditions. You may also be told to report regularly to an office of the Home Office while your appeal is pending.
After your appeal has been finally determined, the tribunal will normally arrange for your bail conditions to be varied and you will be required to attend before an Immigration Officer at an office of the Home Office.
You may request to vary your bail conditions at any time. For example, if you intend to live at a new address, the tribunal must be informed before you move so that your bail conditions can be amended.
If you do not have an appeal pending, then bail will usually be granted for one week. At the end of the week you will have to appear before an immigration officer at an office of the Home Office. At that time your tribunal bail will end and it will be for the immigration authorities to decide what further bail conditions should apply, if any.
Secretary of State’s consent to release on bail
On 28 July 2014 the Immigration Act 2014 made changes to bail proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal.
The changes provide that where the Home Office has made provision to remove you from the UK and the removal date is within 14 days of the bail hearing, the Secretary of State must give consent before you can be released on bail. If this applies to your case the Judge at the hearing will explain in more detail.
If it is considered that you have breached any of your bail conditions, a hearing may be listed for reasons to be given. If the Judge considers that the reasons given are unsatisfactory and money given as security in your bail application may be forfeited.
If you have a surety who has offered money in the course of your application, they may be liable for that money to be forfeited to the tribunal.