EuroFilipino Journal Jan-March 2007
Appeal victory for immigration advisers
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by Charles Kelly

Immigration Advisers, Bison UK, scored their seventh straight appeal victory in a row last week at the Appeals Tribunal (AIT) in London.

The latest case involved Cherrylyn, a work permit holder appealling against an entry clearance refusal in Manila. The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) refused her application based on the assumption that she was not capable of undertaking the work specified on the work permit. In other words, they did not believe her employment references were genuine.

The ECO also thought that she would not take up employment with the employer stated on the work permit and that she would not be able to support herself in the UK "without recourse to public funds".

Bison’s appeal specialist successfully argued that her employment history was genuine and that if the Embassy had any doubts they should have carried out further checks and given her the opportunity to defend the accusations. He also pointed out that the suggestion that Cherrylyn would not take up the said employment in the UK was "ludicrous". Why would anyone with a valid work permit and job not want to work there?

He went on to point out that work permit holders have no access to public funds and therefore must support themsleves by working, which is the reason they are coming to the UK in the first place.

The Immigration Judge agreed and went on to "allow the appeal" following a very short hearing.

In two other recent cases the entry clearance manager did not even bother to defend the refusal and the visa was issued without the need for a hearing.

There are many other similar cases where unfair decisions have been turned around in court, so don’t be afraid to seek justice.

When Should You Appeal?

If you feel you have a genuine case or that you have been unfairly treated by all means lodge an appeal. It is your right.

How Do You Appeal?

You will receive details on how to appeal with your refusal letter. Remember, lodging the appeal is only the start of a six to eight month process. The appeal hearing will usually be held in the UK before an immigration judge, unless the Embassy throws in the towel. You will need to submit an ‘evidence bundle’ and wherever possible call witnesses.

Do I have to use a lawyer?

You do not have to appoint a legal representative or Solicitor and many people choose to represent themselves. However, to give yourself the best possible chance of winning it is advisable to appoint a UK based appeal specialist to represent you and fight your case at the hearing. A lawyer based in the Philippines will not always understand the immigration rules and is not licenced to practice in the UK. More importantly, they will not be able to represent you before a tribunal in London, so you will end up hiring another lawyer in the UK.

What Are Your Chances of Success?

Around 25% of all appeals are successful, a staggering number considering that this figure includes cases where no evidence has been presented and no representatives or witnesses turn up in court. I believe you have a 50-50 chance just by showing up in court.

Appeals can be daunting and complex, but don’t be put off. You always have a chance as long as you try.

If you should have any questions or views concerning Work Permit, Visa Extensions, Leave to Remain or Appeals please email Charles Kelly info@immigrationmatters.co.uk

For regular immigration updates see: http://www.immigrationmatters.co.uk