Guidance

Appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

How to appeal to a tribunal if you're removed or banned from the UK because the government believes you're involved with terrorism.

What you can appeal against

You can apply to the commission if you are being deported, kept out of the country or denied British citizenship for national security reasons.

You can also appeal if the government takes away your citizenship.

The commission is independent of the government. A judge and other commission members will listen to both sides of the argument before reaching a decision.

Time limits for appealing

You have a limited amount of time to appeal from when you get the government’s letter:

Where you’re appealing from Time limit
In detention 5 working days
In the UK 10 days
Outside the UK 28 days

If you’re not allowed to appeal from the UK then you will have 28 days to appeal once you’ve left the country.

If you miss the time limit, you can ask for more time to appeal. The commission will decide if it can still take your case.

How to appeal

Fill in the notice of appeal or review form.

Say on the form why you disagree with the government’s decision, and include a copy of its letter.

Send the form and letter to customer.service@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk or:

Special Immigration Appeals Commission
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
15-25 Bream's Buildings
London
EC4A 1DZ

Telephone: 0300 123 1711
Fax: 01264 785 091

You may need legal advice from a solicitor to help with your appeal.

How your case will be decided

The commission will hold a tribunal hearing with:

  • a senior judge and 2 other commission members, who will decide on your case
  • you and your lawyer
  • a lawyer from the Home Office

The commission will try to keep the hearing open to the public whenever possible.

However, you, your lawyer and the public may have to leave the room if there is any secret evidence involving the security services.

If that happens, someone known as a ‘special advocate’ will be appointed to represent you when this evidence is presented.

The commission’s decision

If you disagree with the commission’s decision, you can appeal to a higher court:

  • Court of Appeal in England and Wales
  • Court of Session in Scotland
  • Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland

You must appeal within 10 days of getting the decision (or 5 days if you’re being detained).

You can only appeal on a point of law - seek legal advice as soon as you can if you want to take the case any further.

Previous decisions

You can search the decisions database to see how the commission dealt with previous cases.

Legislation and rules

You can find the right to appeal to the commission in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997 and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

More detailed rules on how your case will be dealt with are contained in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Procedure Rules 2003.