Asylum Appeals

If your asylum claim is refused by the Home Office, our immigration lawyers can help


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What happens if your asylum application is refused?

Making a claim for asylum is a complex process, you can only claim asylum once in the UK and need to do so as soon as possible to have the best chance of success. After making your claim you will need to go through a rigorous and intense process to prove that you have a genuine fear of persecution, this includes attending an interview in which you may be questioned about difficult events.


Unfortunately, asylum cases are often refused due to the tough Home Office decision making process. In the year ending December 2020 only 41% of initial Home Office decisions resulted in a grant of asylum or another form of protection.


Having an asylum claim refused can be devastating, for many it is not safe to return to their home country. However, there is still hope for your asylum claim even if you have been refused initially. The Home Offices decision-making when it comes to asylum cases is poor, they are quick to refuse any cases they doubt and often do so wrongly, this is evidenced by the high number of asylum appeals that are allowed. In the year ending December 2020 39% of all asylum appeals were successful and the Home Office had to reconsider their initial decision.


If your asylum application is refused, you may need to rely on the courts rather than the Home Office to provide you with the protection you need, you can do this by launching an appeal. An appeal is a formal legal challenge of a Home Office decision. During an appeal a judge at an independent court will look at your application and has the power to overturn the Home Office’s refusal.


If your asylum claim has been refused you should contact a legal representative as soon as possible, they can support you through the appeal process.

Appeals to the First Tier Tribunal

The First-tier Tribunal is the first court you have access to if you are appealing a refusal by the Home Office.


Not everyone has the right to appeal a Home Office decision but asylum seekers and refugees can launch an appeal if the Home Office has:

  • Refused your protection claim – either an asylum claim or a claim for humanitarian protection
  • Revoked your protection status
  • Refused your human rights claim


An immigration lawyer can launch an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal on your behalf.


Alternatively, you can launch an appeal yourself. You have 14 days to launch your appeal from the date that your refusal letter was sent. If you apply for an appeal after this deadline you will need to explain why and the tribunal will decide whether they can still hear your appeal.


You can apply for an appeal using either the online application process, or visa post by completing and sending Form IAFT5. When making your application you will also need to submit documents that support your appeal.


You can ask for a decision to be made by the tribunal based solely on your application and the supporting documents that you have submitted or you can request a hearing that you and a legal representative can attend. The tribunal may decide to schedule a hearing even if you have not asked for one.


If you have an oral hearing you don’t need to send all of your evidence at the time of your application. You may have to wait many months for your hearing, during which you may have obtained new evidence that you can take with you.

Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

If you lose your appeal in the First Tier Tribunal the next step is to take your asylum case to the Upper Tribunal. You can ask for permission to make an appeal to the Upper Tribunal if your thing there has been a legal mistake in the First Tier Tribunal’s decision.


For example, you think the tribunal:

  • Did not apply the correct law
  • Did not interpret asylum law correctly
  • Did not follow the correct procedures
  • Had no evidence or not enough evidence to support its decision


If you lose your appeal at the First Tier Tribunal you will be given a form to ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal when you receive your refusal letter. To appeal to the Upper Tribunal you must complete this form and send it with a copy of the decision letter to the address on the form.


If you’re inside the UK you have 14 days to apply for an appeal at the Upper Tribunal or 28 days if outside the UK. There is no fee for appeals to the Upper Tribunal.