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My immigration status application has been refused - what can I do?

View profile for Mo Chowdhury
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Following the implementation of the Immigration Act 2014, the right of appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision has reduced substantially. You do not have the right of appeal in the UK if your asylum claim is certified and put in the “non-suspensive appeals” category. If the Secretary of State considers a human right claim to be “clearly unfounded”, they may certify the claim unless you can show that “serious and irreversible harm” would occur if you need to appeal from outside the UK.

Where there is no right of appeal, it may be possible for you to apply for an administrative review of the decision. This is an internal review carried out by the Home Office Administrative Review Team to ascertain whether the decision maker was wrong to reach the conclusion. You can only adduce fresh evidence in very limited circumstances. 

Therefore, when you receive a refusal letter, the first thing you must check is whether your claim has been certified. If it is certified then you are either denied the opportunity to lodge an appeal or even if you are given a right to appeal, you cannot lodge an appeal whist you are in the UK. This means you may only bring an appeal from outside the UK. In the case of ZL and VL v SSHD [2003] EWCA Civ 25, the Court of Appeal noted that this is 'scant consolation' when an applicant has already been removed to the country where he/she fears persecution and human rights abuses.

In the case of R (on the application of Kiarie & Byndloss) –v- SSHD (2017), the Supreme Court considered the practical difficulties an Appellant would have in presenting his case from abroad, in particular securing legal representation and giving live evidence. The Supreme Court held that the Secretary of State had failed to make provisions for the procedural protections of Article 8 and failed to establish that deportation in advance of appeal strikes a fair balance between the rights of the Appellants and the interests of the community. The decision to issue the certificates was therefore held to be unlawful.

Following this judgment, the guidance entitled 'Certification under section 94B of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002' was withdrawn. However, under section 94(1) of the Act, the Secretary of State may still certify a protection or human rights claim as clearly unfounded.

There are a number of options available to applicants if their application is refused and/or certified. If your immigration status application has been certified, or you need help with a judicial review or appeal claim, please do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department on 01252 931273.