Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 02 April 2020)

Immigration tribunal hearings

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is now issuing a daily operation update. The latest version usefully summarises the position with First-tier and Upper Tribunal immigration and asylum cases:

The [First-tier] tribunal has suspended face to face hearings (other than in exceptional circumstances) until further notice. A notice containing instructions on the next steps in your case will be sent to you. We are working through the listed cases in priority and date order and you should wait until we contact you. Please do not call us unless your enquiry is urgent. Bail applications will be prioritised and where a hearing is required, will be listed to take place by telephone or video. Users are advised to contact the relevant hearing centre on the email addresses below until further notice.

For the Upper Tribunal:

There may be some delays in processing non-urgent work. Please see below different ways in which we are dealing with appeals and judicial reviews.

Appeals and Permission to Appeal applications to the Upper Tribunal:

  • Appeals that were listed for hearing have been postponed. All appeals to the Upper Tribunal are being judicially case managed. There is also limited monitoring of the appeals email inbox currently taking place.

Judicial Reviews in the Upper Tribunal:

  • A notice was issued on handling of urgent Judicial review applications

  • Non urgent judicial review applications should be sent by post and will be processed when our capacity increases

  • The fees counter at Field House is currently closed and calls to 020 7073 4278 may not be answered

The basic idea is for hearings to be conducted remotely during the pandemic.

Some tribunal hearing centres will remain open, but only for “hearings that cannot be heard by video or telephone and which cannot be delayed”.

Sir Ernest Ryder, the Senior President of Tribunal, has written to his judges saying that “The normal arrangement in all tribunals is now remote hearings and decision making online or by telephone conferencing, video or Skype”.

Posted on Apr 01, 2020.

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