Guidance

Apply for a judicial review in an immigration or asylum case

How to apply to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (UTIAC), how much it can cost and what you can do if your application fails.

Applies to England and Wales

Overview

You can apply to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (UTIAC) for a judicial review to challenge the lawfulness of a decision or other conduct by a public body in your asylum or immigration claim.

A public body can include the Home Office, the First Tier Tribunal or your local council.

Only use the judicial review process if you are challenging something on the grounds that it is unlawful, illegal, irrational or unreasonable (according to the legal criteria). You should seek independent legal advice if you are unsure.

Depending on the circumstances, instead of making a judicial review application to the UTIAC you may need to:

  • appeal against the decision
  • apply to the Administrative Court

Before applying for a judicial review you can get legal advice from a legal representative to help you with your application and case. You may also be eligible for legal aid to help with your legal costs.

If you do not have a legal representative, you may be able to get help to apply from Support Through Court.

When to appeal against a decision instead of applying for a judicial review

Do not apply for a judicial review if you believe that the decision was wrong – only if you think it was unlawful. For example, because the body didn’t have the legal power to make the decision.

If you believe the public body’s decision was wrong rather than unlawful, appeal against a visa or immigration decision instead of applying for a judicial review.

When to apply to the Administrative Court instead of the UTIAC

Do not apply to the UTIAC if you’re challenging any of the following:

  • the validity of the immigration rules or legislation
  • the lawfulness of your detention
  • your sponsor not being included on the register of sponsors maintained by the UK Border Agency
  • a decision to refuse you British citizenship
  • a decision to refuse you asylum seeker support
  • a decision made by the Upper Tribunal
  • a decision made by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
  • decision you believe doesn’t comply with the Human Rights Act (1998)
  • a decision that has been certified as in the interests of national security

Instead, make an application to the Administrative Court.

How to apply to the UTIAC for a judicial review

Download the application for judicial review form (UTIAC1) (PDF, 201 KB, 21 pages)

Complete the form and send it to the regional office closest to you. Include the application fee and any supporting forms and documents. There’s a list of regional offices in the form.

If you are challenging a decision to remove you from the UK, you must follow Part 5 of the immigration judicial review practice direction.

You must send or hand in your application so the tribunal receives it no later than 3 months after the date of the decision that you are challenging. If you apply late, you will need to explain why in the form. A judge will decide if your application can still be considered.

Fees

A judicial review application has several stages. The first stage is the initial application (UTIAC1). The fee for the initial application is £154.

Depending on whether your initial application is successful and what happens next, you will have to pay additional fees. If permission is granted the fee for a final hearing is £770.

You can pay fees by:

  • sending a cheque, banker’s draft or postal order, made payable to ‘HMCTS’
  • attending in person at the court or office counter
  • payment by account (through a legal representative only)

You may be eligible for help with fees.

Ask for your application to be considered urgently

In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to apply for an urgent consideration of your application. Urgent applications are usually reviewed on the day they are received by the tribunal.

An exceptional circumstance might be if you:

  • are going to be removed from the UK in the immediate future, or
  • need to be in the UK soon

The public body will have given you a date you are due to be removed from the UK. This may help you decide whether to apply for an urgent consideration.

Download the application for urgent consideration or interim relief with UTIAC1 form (UTIAC4) (PDF, 79.9 KB, 7 pages)

You must complete and return the UTIAC4 form with your UTIAC1 application. There is no additional fee for including the UTIAC4 form.

If you have already applied, you can still ask for an urgent consideration to review your application using form UTIAC5.

Download the application for urgent consideration or interim relief without UTIAC1 form (UTIAC5) (PDF, 97 KB, 8 pages)

The fee for a UTIAC5 application is £255.

How to serve copies of your application on the respondents

The tribunal will send you confirmation that they have received your claim. They will provide you with ‘sealed copies’ of your application – this means copies that have been date stamped and enclosed in an envelope using an official seal.

Within 9 calendar days of the date on the correspondence, you must send or hand the sealed copies of the application to all respondents in the case. If you do not do this your case could be ‘struck out’, meaning your claim is ended.

The respondents are the public body or bodies whose conduct or decision you are seeking to challenge as being unlawful. This might be:

  • the Home Office
  • the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), or
  • your local council

Within the same 9 calendar days you must also complete and send a ‘statement of service’ form to the tribunal. This is to confirm that you have sent a copy of the application to the respondent or respondents. If you do not do this, your case could be ‘struck out’.

Download the statement of service form (UTIAC2) (PDF, 70.7 KB, 4 pages)

What happens next

After you have filed your application for a judicial review and provided the sealed copies to the respondents, they have 21 days to acknowledge with the tribunal that they have received the application.

A judge will then look at your application and the respondent’s acknowledgement of service and decide whether to give permission for the case to proceed to a judicial review hearing.

If permission is granted

If the judge decides that your case should go to a judicial review hearing, you will need to pay the fee using form UTIAC12.

Download the fee following grant of permission on papers form (UTIAC12) (PDF, 63.5 KB, 3 pages)

The fee is £770. You must pay the fee within 9 calendar days of the tribunal sending you the judge’s decision. If you do not do this, your case will automatically be ‘struck out’, ending the claim.

Once you have paid, a final hearing date will be set.

If permission is refused

If a judge refuses permission, they may decide that the application is:

  • totally without merit, or
  • not totally without merit

If they decide that your application is totally without merit, you will not be able to go any further. Check the judge’s decision for information about any right you have to appeal against the decision.

Appeal against a decision that your application is totally without merit

Download the apply for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal form (UTIAC14) (PDF, 93.2 KB, 7 pages)

The fee for a UTIAC14 application is £100.

The judge’s decision will include information on the time limit for a UTIAC14 application.

Apply for a reconsideration if your application is considered not totally without merit

You can apply for a reconsideration on the same grounds as your initial application by completing form UTIAC11.

Download the application to reconsider permission form (UTIAC11) (PDF, 91.3 KB, 7 pages)

The fee to apply for a reconsideration on the same grounds is £385. You must pay the fee within 9 calendar days of the tribunal sending you the judge’s decision. If you do not pay the fee the claim cannot proceed.

Once you have paid for your reconsideration, a different judge will review your application. This is done at an oral permission hearing. If the judge grants permission, your case will proceed to a ‘substantive’ hearing (final hearing). You will then need to pay a follow-up fee of £385 using form UTIAC13. If you do not pay this within the specified time as directed your case will be automatically ‘struck out’.

Download the fee following grant of permission at a hearing form (UTIAC13) (PDF, 63.5 KB, 3 pages)

If you want to change the grounds of your claim, you must instead reapply with form UTIAC6.

If your claim is ‘struck out’

If your case is ‘struck out’ (ended) and you want it to proceed, you will need to apply to a judge to reinstate it using form UTIAC6. A judge will then consider your application and decide whether to reinstate your case.

Before the final hearing

You may need to ask the tribunal to act if you want something done before your hearing. For example:

Apply for a summons for a witness to attend the hearing

You may want someone to attend the hearing as a witness. This could be anyone who could provide evidence that supports your application, including friends and family or an expert witness, such as your doctor or social worker.

If you want a witness to attend but they do not agree to, you can apply for a ‘summons’ for them to attend. This is an order from the tribunal for them to attend.

Download the application notice – attendance of a witness form (UTIAC8) (PDF, 101 KB, 9 pages)

The fee for a witness summons is £50.

The witness must have at least 14 days’ notice of the hearing, unless otherwise directed by a judge. You must apply early enough for the tribunal to make its decision and arrange for the witness to receive the summons papers.

The judge may order you to give the summons papers to the witness. If so, the tribunal will provide instructions when they give you the papers.

You may be required to pay any expenses the witness has to attend the hearing.

You do not need to apply for a witness summons if a witness has agreed to attend a hearing.

Apply to adjourn a hearing that is at least 14 days away

An ‘adjournment’ is when a case is paused, or a hearing is suspended until another date. There might be a particular reason or various reasons an adjournment is needed.

Use form UTIAC9 to apply for an adjournment if:

  • all parties agree to the adjournment, and
  • the hearing is at least 14 days away

Download the apply for an agreed adjournment – 14+ days’ notice form (UTIAC9) (PDF, 72.9 KB, 7 pages)

There is no fee to apply to adjourn a hearing that is at least 14 days away and where the other party agrees.

Use form UTIAC7 if:

  • all parties agree, and
  • the hearing is less than 14 days away

Use form UTIAC6 if:

  • not all parties agree, and/or
  • the hearing is less than 14 days away

You must tell the tribunal if you change your legal representation at any time. Use form UTIAC16. There is no fee to do this.

Download the change in representation form (UTIAC16) (PDF, 61 KB, 4 pages)

If you are a legal representative, you must also use the UTIAC16 form to tell the tribunal you are no longer instructed.

Withdraw your application or case

If at any time you decide you do not want to continue with the judicial review proceedings, you should give the tribunal notice that you want to withdraw the case.

Download the notice of withdrawal of all or part of a party’s case form (UTIAC10) (PDF, 76.5 KB, 6 pages)

There is no fee to give notice to withdraw and you do not need consent from the respondents.

The tribunal will need to agree to the withdrawal and will give you that decision in writing. A hearing may still take place and an order made that affects you (for example, an order for you to pay outstanding costs).

Alternatively, you may have already agreed to the withdrawal, and any other terms (such as payment of outstanding costs), with the respondents. In this case, you should file a draft order with the tribunal using form UTIAC7 instead of a withdrawal notice.

If you have a legal representative, they can prepare the draft order for you. If you do not have a legal representative, you can ask the respondent to prepare the draft order

The draft order should be signed by all parties. The fee for filing a draft order is £100.

Ask for copies of the tribunal documents

You can ask the tribunal to send you copies of any of the documents in the file for your application. That includes copies of documents either you or a respondent has given to the tribunal.

Download the request for copies of documents from the tribunal form (UTIAC15) (PDF, 80.6 KB, 5 pages)

The minimum fee is £10. This will pay for up to:

  • 10 hard copy (paper) pages sent by post, or
  • 10 electronic documents sent by email

The fee for each additional paper page or electronic document is 50 pence.

If you have paid £10 but the final fee is more than that, the tribunal will tell you before copying the documents. You will then need to pay the remaining part of the fee before the tribunal sends you the copies.

You may want to apply:

  • for an adjournment of a hearing which is less than 14 days away
  • to reinstate proceedings if your case has been struck out
  • to change your grounds for applying for a judicial review
  • for case management directions

If any respondent has not agreed to the application, or does not agree to the action you want the tribunal to take, you can apply for notice without consent.

Download the application notice – without consent form (UTIAC6) (PDF, 88.8 KB, 8 pages)

The fee to apply for notice without consent is £255.

If all respondents have agreed to the action you want to take, you can apply for notice with consent.

Download the application notice – with consent form (UTIAC7) (PDF, 89.1 KB, 8 pages)

The fee to apply for notice with consent is £100.

What happens at the final hearing

At the final (‘substantive’) hearing, a judge will hear your case and decide whether the respondent’s conduct or decision was procedurally and legally correct.

If the judge decides the conduct or decision was illegal or unlawful, it will then decide whether or not to grant you the relief or remedy that you asked for in your claim and tell the respondent about any action they need to take.

If you are not successful in your judicial review claim, you may be able to ask permission to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal, but you should seek independent legal advice before doing so.

You may have to pay additional costs, such as the respondents’ court costs. You will be given more information with the judge’s decision.

List of all UTIAC forms

Published 29 November 2021
Last updated 25 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added UTIAC17 - Representation at a hearing of immigration judicial review proceedings in the Upper Tribunal

  2. First published.