The social distancing measures introduced by the Government in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in the suspension of face to face hearings (other than in exceptional circumstances) until further notice both at the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.
The Tribunal is in the process of cancelling face to face hearings that were already listed before the Tribunal and issuing notices in respect of these hearings and new appeals as they continue to be lodged. The notices direct the parties to engage with the Tribunal so that where ever possible evidence and submissions are lodged by electronic means.
A procedure has been put in place for Judges to conduct remote case management review hearings to decide whether a hearing in each individual case is necessary and if it is then the hearing will be conducted remotely by use of video conferencing.
As with hearings at the First-Tier Tribunal, face to face hearings at the Upper Tribunal have been cancelled. The Judges will decide whether it is appropriate for them to decide the appeals brought before them without a hearing. Parties will be given the opportunity to give reasons as to why a hearing may be necessary.
Where the Judge considers that a hearing is necessary this will be conducted remotely through video conferencing. Where however a face to face hearing is needed but impossible then it will be adjourned.
HM Courts and Tribunal Service is now issuing a daily operational update which usually summarises the position with First-Tier and Upper Tribunal immigration and asylum appeals cases.
We understand that a hearing in itself can be a very daunting experience and more so now with the rapidly changing Tribunal landscape. If you are worried about these new processes and how they might affect your ability to effectively prepare your appeal and participate in your hearing please contact our specialist immigration team who are happy to advise you further.
We offer both telephone and video meetings via a range of video and messaging services.
For a free 30 minute telephone consultation with one of our expert UK immigration lawyers during this period please click this link.