Recent statistics produced by the Ministry of Justice show that in the third quarter of 2017/18 the percentage of immigration decisions reversed by judges was at its highest level for a decade. Half of appeals heard by the Immigration Tribunal challenging Home Office refusals to allow people to stay in the UK now succeed. Human rights and EEA Free Movement cases were the most likely to be allowed, with 57% and 50% success rates respectively.
We would not be surprised if the amount of unlawful decisions made by the Home Office was actually higher, as these statics do not include decisions which the Home Office reversed the day before the hearing. Also not everyone can afford to go through the expensive and lengthy appeal process and some decisions no longer even carry a right of appeal.
Outside of certain priority cases, there is a significant gap of around 12 months between the date of a decision and the appeal hearing date. As a result, the tribunal often has to consider new evidence, changes in circumstance or new case law.
Since 14 May 2018 a dedicated Home Office team has started to review all appeals that will be over 20 weeks old at the date of hearing. If they find that the decision is no longer valid, they will withdraw the decision, notify the Tribunal Service and arrange for implementation of leave/entry clearance to be issued.