Apply to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

How to appeal if a decision has been made to remove you from the United Kingdom, stop you entering the United Kingdom, or take away your British Citizenship, in the interests of nationality security or on other related grounds.

What decisions you can challenge

You can challenge a decision taken on national security grounds to:

  • keep you out of the country
  • refuse you British citizenship
  • deport you
  • take your citizenship away

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission is independent of the government.

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

If you’re being held in a prison or detention centre you can also apply to be released on bail.

Time limits for applying

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

Where you are Time limit
In detention 5 working days
In the UK 10 days
Outside the UK 28 days

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

You can ask for more time if you miss the time limit. The commission will decide if it can still take your case. If you think you have missed the time limit our Special Immigration Appeals Commission practice note (PDF, 174KB, 6 pages) tells you what to do.

How to apply

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 or:

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

Telephone: 0300 123 1711

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

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.

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 may be able to 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 apply within 10 days of getting the decision (or 5 working 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:

More detailed rules on how your case will be dealt with are contained in the:

Updates to this page

Published 13 November 2014
Last updated 27 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Link to coronavirus judicial guidance added.

  2. Link added to time limit practice note.

  3. Tribunal summary revised.

  4. New link to Practice Note

  5. Minor change

  6. First published.

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