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Immigration fees on the rise but Law Society objects a ‘setback for justice’ (21 September 2016)

Date: 21/09/2016
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Immigration fees on the rise but Law Society objects a ‘setback for justice’

British Government has recently announced an increase of immigration fees with the Law Society rejecting the proposal of ‘punitive rises’ which may lead to a ‘huge setback’ for justice.

The Law Society argues that ‘the principle of affordable justice for all should prevail over the government's full costs recovery model’, particularly in the area of appeals against decisions of the state. Indeed, it’s reasonable to believe that the fees increase would also discourage appellants from bringing unmeritorious claims to the tribunal.

As reported by The Law Society Gazette, the fees are expected to rise up £34m a year as follows:

• In the first-tier tribunal, fees will rise from £80 to £490 for an application for a decision on the papers;
• For an oral hearing fees will reach £800 from £140;
• The introduction of a new fee of £455 is expected in relation to an application to the first-tier tribunal for permission to appeal to the upper tribunal;
• In the upper tribunal, an application for permission to appeal, where permission had been refused by the first-tier tribunal, will cost £350, while a £510 fee will be imposed for an appeal hearing where permission is granted.

Duncan Lewis Director of Business Immigration Ayan Yachin has commented: “The Immigration Act 2014 has already severely restricted the scope and number of appeals being brought before the First Tier Tribunal. These fee increases represent another ‘financial levy’ which migrants already face with yearly increases to visa fees and the NHS surcharges. From an administrative aspect this will leave many Immigration judges with the additional burden of having to deal with applicants in person, who cannot afford legal representation and ensuring that they are treated fairly in proceedings against the Home Office representatives.”

Ayan has been recommended by Legal 500 2016 Edition for his Business Immigration practices in London. He specialises in Tier 1 (Highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors and graduates), Tier 2 (General and Intra Company Transfers), and Sponsorship licences for companies including renewals and advising on processes and compliance, Tier 4 (students) and Tier 5 (temporary workers), EEA and ECAA applications. Ayan has provided bespoke Immigration solutions to a wide range of industries including securities, commodities, finance, insurance, fashion, food and beverage, precious stones, media, IT, energy and healthcare.

Duncan Lewis' Immigration team holds exclusive legal aid contracts to represent vulnerable clients/ victim of torture or trafficking in immigration detention related matters; detained asylum casework and unaccompanied asylum seeking children. The department holds a niche practice representing judicial review immigration claimant cases before the High Court with a significant practice in Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal appellant cases, unlawful immigration detention cases with high net claims for damages and challenging immigration removal cases; in particular, Dublin II third country removal cases. Duncan Lewis has lodged more immigration judicial review proceedings in 2015 than any other immigration legal team in the UK.

For any further information please feel free to contact our Immigration team at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com

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