Guidance

Unrepresented appellants - Immigration and Asylum Tribunal

How to appeal a First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber decision without legal representation. (T359)

Before the hearing

The tribunal is part of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service and is independent of the Home Office or entry clearance officer who made the decision in your case.

After you have lodged your appeal you will be sent a notice of the time and date of your hearing and where the hearing will be heard.

We have hearing centres in:

  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Bradford
  • Glasgow
  • Hatton Cross (near Heathrow Airport)
  • London (at Taylor House)
  • Manchester
  • Newport
  • Nottingham
  • North Shields

If for any reason you wish your hearing to be heard at a different hearing centre or on a different day you must write in with your request.

If you have any particular difficulties or needs you must inform the tribunal.

If you need an interpreter, and have not already said so in your notice of appeal, you must tell the tribunal. You must say which language and dialect you need the interpreter to speak.

You should send copies of any documents that you want the judge to look at to the Home Office and the tribunal as soon as possible and no later than the date specified in the notice of hearing letter you received from the tribunal.

In all correspondence with the tribunal you must include the Home Office reference number and the tribunal reference number, which you will see on the letters from them.

You must bring all the originals of the documents that you intend to rely on with you to the tribunal. Only documents in English will be looked at so if any are not in English you must arrange for translations.

If for any reason you find yourself unable to attend your hearing you must contact the tribunal as soon as you know you have a problem and ask for the hearing to be adjourned to a different date.

If the reason is because you are ill or have a medical appointment then you should send evidence with your adjournment application.

A judge or tribunal caseworker will look at your application and let you know if the case is adjourned to another day.

If there are other members of your family who have appeals at the same time it is important that they are heard at the same hearing centre by the same judge.

If the notice of the hearing does not list the appeals together then you need to write to the tribunal with the names and appeal numbers and ask that they be linked together.

Before you receive your notice of hearing any questions or queries that you have should be addressed to:

General enquiries

First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
Leicester
LE1 6ZX

Once your case has been listed for a hearing at a hearing centre, send any enquiries to that hearing centre. The address and telephone number of that hearing centre will be on the notice of hearing.

Your case may be put on a waiting list, called a ‘float list’, of extra cases not linked to a particular court or judge. If this happens your case will be heard by the first judge to become available.

It may be that if your case is on a float list it will not be heard on that day. If that happens it will be relisted on another day when it will not be on the float list.

The hearing day

Your case will be listed for hearing at 10am on the date you are given on your notice of hearing. It will be in a list of appeals to be heard on that day.

The judge will decide on the day the order in which the cases will be heard so you may have to wait until later in the day for yours to be heard.

Make sure you’re available to be at the hearing centre all day. If you have any particular difficulties please tell the clerk when you arrive.

Please bring your notice of hearing with you to the hearing centre. You will need to go through security at the entrance and then you should report to reception. Please arrive by 9.45am.

The clerk will keep you informed during the day as to how long you may have to wait. When the judge is ready to hear your case the clerk will take you into the hearing room.

You may not be able to take young children into the hearing room with you. The judge will decide what is best to enable your appeal to be heard fairly.

Your appeal will usually be heard by one judge, although occasionally more than one judge will sit as a panel.

You should call the judge ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’. You will be asked to stand up when the judge enters or leaves the room but the rest of the time you can remain seated.

When you enter the hearing room the clerk will show you where to sit.

On one side will be the Home Office presenting officer who is there to put forward reasons as to why your original application has been refused. If you have asked for an interpreter, they will sit next to you.

Members of the public are able to attend tribunal hearings. If this causes you any problem please speak to the clerk.

If you have any witnesses who are going to give evidence make sure that the clerk knows that they are present. They will need to stay outside the hearing room until it is time for them to give evidence. They may then stay in the room after they have finished giving evidence.

Anybody that you wish to come along for support, and who is not going to give evidence, can stay throughout.

Normally at a hearing you will give your evidence first as to why you say that your appeal should be allowed. You will then be asked questions by the Home Office presenting officer and perhaps by the judge.

The Home Office presenting officer will then address the judge as to why they say the appeal should be dismissed. You then have the last word to explain why you say the appeal should be allowed.

If you do not understand what you are being asked or cannot hear it is very important that you tell the judge.

After the hearing

You are not usually told the result of your appeal on the day. You will receive a written decision normally within 3 to 4 weeks which will tell you whether your appeal has been allowed or not.

If the appeal is allowed then the Home Office will reconsider your application. If your appeal is dismissed you may apply for permission to appeal on an error of law.

Published 1 November 2014