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Immigration Tribunal fees

The Government will review the level of fee increases and in the meantime apply fees at previous levels and make refunds to applicants who have paid under the new scheme.

Ministerial statement from Oliver Heald, Minister of State for Courts and Justice:

However, we have listened to the representations that we received on the current fee levels and have decided to take stock and review the immigration and asylum fees, to balance the interests of all tribunal users and the taxpayer and to look at them again alongside other tribunal fees and in the wider context of funding for the system overall.

From today all applicants will be charged fees at previous levels and we will reimburse, in all cases where the new fees have been paid, the difference between that fee and the previous fee.

We will bring forward secondary legislation to formalise the position as soon as possible. That legislation will come into force shortly, but in the meantime the changes will be effected through the use of the Lord Chancellor’s discretionary power to remit or reduce fees.

Alongside the fee changes introduced we extended the fee exemptions offered in the First-tier Tribunal, to include:

  • those in receipt of a Home Office destitution waiver in respect of their initial application;
  • parents of, and those with parental responsibility for, children receiving support from local authorities;
  • children in local authority care; and
  • those appealing a decision to revoke their humanitarian protection or refugee status.

The Government believes that these exemptions are proportionate measures that protect some of the most vulnerable users of the Tribunal. For this reason the extended system of fee exemptions will remain in place.

We also took the opportunity when introducing the fee changes to expand and clarify the guidance around the application of the Lord Chancellor’s power to remit or reduce fees in exceptional circumstances. This revised guidance is not affected.

The role of fees in the Upper Tribunal will also form part of the review. The focus of our work is now on carrying out that review. We will bring forward any new plans for Tribunal fees, including in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, for consultation in due course.

Made by: Sir Oliver Heald (The Minister of State for Courts and Justice)

(Courtesy of Parliament UK)