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Appeals, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Reviews

If you require assistance with challenging a Home Office decision then Blacks Solicitors’ specialist Immigration team can help.

Given the complexity of immigration law, it is perhaps unsurprising that many applications result in refusal from the Home Office.

Receipt of a refusal is often unexpected and can be a particularly stressful moment in your life. Yet with every refusal there is always at least one option available to challenge the decision, if you think the decision has been made unfairly or unreasonably.

Alternatively, it might be best not to challenge the decision but to make a better prepared, fresh Application.

In terms of challenging a refusal, there are different remedies available depending on the type of Application which has been refused. Some decisions might attract a Right of Appeal, whereas others will only have a Right to an Administrative Review.

In certain circumstances, where you have exhausted all other available options, you might even need to consider taking the Home Office itself to the Tribunal, through the Judicial Review process.

Each of the above methods has completely different processes, timescales, costs and outcomes. However, if you have received a negative Home Office decision then our team can review your case before advising you on the best course of action.


Only certain types of refusal will attract a Right of Appeal. These include Human Rights Claims or ‘Protection’ Claims.

You will usually (although not always) be notified of your Right of Appeal in the decision letter refusing your Application.

You must lodge your Appeal at the First-Tier Tribunal within 14 calendar days of the decision being sent to you if you are in the UK, or within 28 days if you are appealing from outside of the UK.

If you lose your Appeal at the First-Tier Tribunal then it is possible to seek to have the decision overturned by the Upper Tribunal.

Administrative Reviews

These days, most decisions don’t attract a Right of Appeal but instead have a far more limited Right to an Administrative Review.

The Administrative Review is undertaken by the Home Office, and the grounds are limited solely to the question of whether or not there has been a ‘case working error’.

Decisions which attract a Right of Administrative Review include applications made under Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Points-based System.

An Administrative Review must be made within 14 calendar days of receiving the decision if you are in the UK, or within 28 days if you are appealing from outside of the UK.

Judicial Reviews

Judicial Review is regarded as a measure of last resort, to be used when all other available routes to challenge a decision have been exhausted.

In terms of immigration, a Judicial Review challenge involves a Judge examining the lawfulness of a decision by the Home Office. Common reasons for issuing a Judicial Review is if the Home Office has denied you the Right of Appeal by certifying a Human Rights Claim is ‘clearly unfounded’, or if the Home Office has refused to treat further representations as amounting to a fresh Claim.

Applicants have three months to lodge the Judicial Review from the date of the decision being challenged.

It is important to note that in a Judicial Review, a Judge can’t reverse the negative decision of the Home Office. The decision can merely be quashed, so that the Home Office will have to make a new decision.

New Applications

Whether opting for an Appeal, Administrative Review, or Judicial Review, each of the avenues can be problematic in terms of delay, cost, and/or having an effective of outcome.

Therefore the best way forward might not be to challenge a previous refusal, but instead to make a fresh Application and to focus on the problematic areas identified in the Home Office refusal letter. Often a new Application, better prepared and with better supporting evidence, is the quickest and cheapest way to obtain your desired outcome.


For more information about Blacks’ immigration services and how we can help you, or for a free no obligation discussion, please email or call us today on 0113 322 2842.


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