Reconsideration of a visa or immigration decision
A reconsideration entails a review by the Home Office of a decision that it has made. If you have lodged an appeal in the First Tier Tribunal against an immigration decision, you may wish to consider submitting a reconsideration request (if relevant, with new evidence in support of your case) to the Home Office while the appeal is pending. Our barristers can advise you about whether your case is suitable for requesting a reconsideration.
Reconsideration by the Home Office
The Gov.uk page on ‘Visa and immigration reconsideration requests’ states that you ‘can’t make a reconsideration request if you have a right of appeal or right to an administrative review against the decision’. This is somewhat misleading, as the Home Office revealed to the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association that it has established a dedicated team ‘to review new evidence and substantiated grounds that are submitted to us’ for all appeals that are listed, and that it aims to consider and respond to such requests within seven days, although it could take longer. Thus, if you have exercised your right of appeal and are awaiting your hearing, you can make a reconsideration request. Our barristers have had success where they have submitted a reconsideration request soon after receiving the Notice of Pending Appeal from HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
Making a reconsideration request may be particularly appropriate if you are appealing a decision that failed to consider certain evidence you had provided, or if you now have new evidence that is relevant to the matters in dispute. It may also be helpful to do so if your appeal has been extant for a long time and your circumstances have evolved with the passage of time since the Home Office made its original decision in your case. Where possible, you should provide the new evidence at least six weeks before the hearing date.
Outcome of a Reconsideration Request
Following its review, the Home Office may decide to withdraw its original decision and make a recommendation to the Decision Making Centre that decided your original application to grant your application. If this is the case, your appeal is likely to be withdrawn pursuant to Tribunal Procedure Rule 17(2), which provides that ‘The Tribunal must (save for good reason) treat an appeal as withdrawn if the respondent notifies the Tribunal and each other party that the decision (or, where the appeal relates to more than one decision, all of the decisions) to which the appeal relates has been withdrawn and specifies the reasons for the withdrawal of the decision.’
Given the considerable period of time that may elapse between your appeal being lodged and the hearing itself, a well-prepared reconsideration request could lead to a quicker resolution of the matter than waiting for the appeal to be heard. However, if your reconsideration request does not lead to the Home Office withdrawing its decision, you may still be successful in challenging the decision upon appeal. Our barristers can advise on the merits of proceeding to the appeal and what further evidence can be provided to prepare for the appeal.
Contact Our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance on preparing an appeal or a reconsideration request, please contact our barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.