Grounds of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014
The Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) made major changes to the immigration appeals landscape. The 2014 Act reduced the grounds of appeal by 13 (17 to four). This is important because it means that there are now fewer circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application can be challenged.
The provisions in the 2014 Act were phased and came fully into force on 06 April 2015.
What is an immigration ground of appeal?
A ground of appeal is the basis upon which an appellant can seek to challenge the refusal of an immigration application. In the words of Hickinbottom LJ, ‘The grounds of appeal are the well from which the argument must flow’.
What are the grounds of appeal in immigration cases?
As mentioned in the introduction, there are now fewer grounds of appeal. An appeal could formerly be made on the basis that an immigration decision was not taken in accordance with the Immigration Rules (see s.84(1)(a) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 prior to its amendment). This is no longer possible. Now, under s.84(1) of the 2014 Act, the grounds of appeal in an appeal against the refusal of refugee or humanitarian protection status are:
(a) that removal of the appellant from the United Kingdom would breach the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Refugee Convention;
(b) that removal of the appellant from the United Kingdom would breach the United Kingdom’s obligations in relation to persons eligible for a grant of humanitarian protection;
(c) that removal of the appellant from the United Kingdom would be unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (public authority not to act contrary to Human Rights Convention)
Appeals against the revocation of protection status may only be brought on the grounds that the decision has breached the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention or in relation to persons eligible for a grant of humanitarian protection.
Comment on immigration grounds of appeal
As we can see, there are still ways in which people can bring challenges before the Courts and Tribunals after the 2014 Act. However, this will only be so where their human rights, refugee or humanitarian status are in play.
Because of these changes, it is now far less likely that those applying for business visas will be able to challenge refusal decisions before the Tribunals.
Between January and March 2019, human rights proportionally represented 54% of all First-tier Tribunal (IAC) receipts (up from 48% a year ago), asylum and protection represented 29%, and human rights and EEA Free Movement represented 14%.
Human rights are therefore an important way in which to appeal against adverse immigration decisions before the Courts and Tribunals.
Contact our Immigration Appeal Barristers
For assistance with an immigration appeal following a refusal, removal decision or deportation order contact our specialist immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.