Immigration Judge Nicholas Easterman, who sits at Hatton Cross Tribunal Centre, recently gave a speech to the Bar Council about poor Government decision-making. Working as he does in the immigration field one would imagine that he would have plenty of material.
These are a few excerpts from his rather assertive delivery:
“Immigration law is a total nightmare. I don’t suppose that the judges know any more about it than the appellants who come before them.” (!)
“We cannot manage in many cases without proper assistance and we rarely get it from the Home Office”.
Of Home Office legal representatives: some of them, he said, are “good and fair” but others are “worse than useless” and they attempt to support “unsustainable decisions”.
Furthermore, they are “obsessed with discrepancies” and they suffer from “woolly hat syndrome”. (This latter item is not as far as we know a recognised medical condition. It is apparently an expression of the practical reality that people may choose to wear different kinds of hat at different times of the year, and that this does not necessarily constitute a suspicious change of circumstances.)
It also emerged at the Bar Council event from Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals, that in 2016 43% of immigration appeals were successful. This is quite a high proportion, which indicates that UK Visas & Immigration’s decisions are not always very legally robust.
If you have had your immigration application refused and you have the right of appeal it might – depending on the facts and the reasons for refusal – be worth pursuing it, but you are well advised to take good legal advice before deciding what to do. And if you do go ahead with an appeal hearing it is a very good idea to get a good advocate to steer you through the process.