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Immigration and Visa Appeals

We fully understands how daunting it can be to receive a visa refusal decision and the impact that this decision can have on the life and plans of individuals and their families.

We will always be clear with you on where you stand from the outset. We can advise you on whether you should appeal the refusal decision or make a new application with our support. Reapplying is often preferable to a court hearing, particularly if you have applied without representation. Submitting a new application is quicker, more cost effective and avoids the uncertainties inherent in going to court.

If reapplying is not an option, for example because the Home Office position appears entrenched, we can represent you before the Immigration Tribunal. Our team will be tenacious in defending your interests and will deploy our decades of combined experience to adopt a strategic approach and maximise the chances of a successful outcome. Three of our specialist immigration solicitors, Gurjit Pall, Jacqueline Moore and Louise Crichton have extensive experience of appearing on behalf of clients throughout the UK . If your case has to go to court, you can be confident that we have the skill-set and experience to support you.

Frequently asked questions

Here we answer some of the main questions asked about appealing a visa refusal decision.

When you receive the refusal decision from the Home Office, it should set out whether you have a right to appeal and the time-scales for appealing. Not every visa decision refusal can be appealed to the First-tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (the Immigration Tribunal). Only visa decisions, which concern human rights claims, carry a right of appeal. Refusals, which cannot be appealed to the Tribunal, can usually be taken through a review process called ‘administrative review’.

An appeal is generally better than an administrative review. While an appeal takes place before an independent Immigration Judge of the Immigration Tribunal, administrative review is carried out by a new decision-maker within the Home Office. In administrative review, the grounds of review are also more limited.

You will have received information from the Home Office outlining why they have refused your immigration application or visa. If you have the right to appeal, you then submit your grounds for appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. You have to gather information and evidence to support those grounds. We can advise you on the possible grounds for appeal and help you build your case. 

There may be an appeal hearing to explain to the judge why the appeal should be successful. With our immigration and litigation experience, we can represent clients at any immigration hearing across the UK.

You can ask for your appeal to be heard by an Immigration Judge at an oral hearing or you can do a paper-based appeal. The court fees for an oral hearing are £140, and £80 for a hearing decided on the papers.

Your refusal decision from the Home Office should outline the reasons your visa application has been refused. If you have the right to appeal, you then submit your grounds for appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

You must then gather information and evidence to support those grounds and upload this to the court through the This is known as an ‘appeal bundle’. This bundle will contain a witness statement for you and any witnesses appearing on your behalf. It should also contain any legal authorities you wish to rely on and any objective evidence, such as reports from reputable third party organisations, which support your case. Lastly, it must also contain a legal document known as an Appeal Skeleton Argument (“ASA”) The ASA contains a brief summary of the case, a schedule of issues and the reasons why you disagree with the decision.

The Home Office are then required to conduct a review of the case. The review is an important way to narrow the issues and in some cases may lead to a withdrawal of the decision with a view to a visa grant. In other cases, the Home Office will insist on defending the decision and the case will proceed to an oral hearing.

The Upper Tribunal is responsible for handling appeals against First Tier Tribunal decisions. It also handles judicial review of certain Home Office decisions. We can advise you if you have grounds to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on points of law and represent you at any hearing. It is important to note that the losing party in any appeal from the First Tier Tribunal can appeal to the Upper Tribunal, including the Home Office. An appeal to the higher Tribunal is not automatic, and will only take place if it passes an initial review, known as a ‘sift’. This sift is carried out by the Upper Tribunal to decide which appeals it will hear.

If you are applying from the UK, you have 14 days from when you get your decision to lodge your appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. If you are outside the UK, you have 28 days to lodge your appeal.

Our team is adept at responding quickly on appeal issues, advising you if you have grounds to make an immigration or visa appeal and helping you prepare and submit your appeal forms in time.

The length of time for the appeal process depends on First-Tier Tribunal availability, so it is difficult to give a definite timescale for Immigration Tribunal decisions. It is not unusual to wait 6-12 months for an appeal hearing to be listed, and in some cases longer.

In certain cases, it may be possible to make a request for your appeal hearing to be expedited. A request requires to be made to the Immigration Tribunal to explain why your appeal should be heard urgently, including evidence of any compelling or compassionate grounds, if applicable. It is down to the Tribunal’s discretion whether they will hear the appeal early.

We can advise you whether you have grounds for an urgent appeal and can guide you through the process to follow.

You can appeal from outside the UK. The process is similar to appealing from inside the UK. You have 28 days from the refusal decision to lodge your appeal. We can advise you on whether appealing is the right option for you, or whether making a fresh application would be better in your circumstances. Reapplying can often be a quicker and more cost effective solution.

How can Thorntons help?

Consultation Service Package

With our consultation service, you will receive an advice session lasting up to one hour with an immigration specialist for a fixed fee. At the session, we will discuss the requirements for the Global Talent visa including the evidential requirements, assess your eligibility, answer any questions you have on the process, and provide a follow-up summary email. You can then choose to either submit the application yourself or instruct us to support you further through our end-to-end representation service package.

Our initial, fixed fee consultation costs £350 plus VAT. If you are based overseas, then you may not be charged VAT. If you choose to use our full representation service within three months of the initial consultation package, then we will discount 50% of the cost of the initial consultation service from the cost of future work instructed under the Representative Service Package.

Representative Service Package

We will take care of all aspects of the application process for you and act as named legal representative on your application. This service includes preparation of an application package, uploading all of your documents and keeping you updated at all stages of the process. We will also review your endorsement application if you wish.

Where possible, we offer our representation service on a fixed fee basis tailored to your circumstances. However, due to the complex nature of immigration, it is not possible to offer a fixed fee in every case. We will discuss whether your case is suitable for a fixed fee after our consultation.

We offer in-person consultations with immigration specialists at our Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, or via a video call if you prefer. To arrange a consultation, please call 03330 430350 or complete our enquiry form below.

Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350 to find out more about our immigration services, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.