As a direct access immigration barrister based in London working as part of a dedicated direct access team we were shocked as everyone else when the Home Office decided to up the fees by 500% in respect of appeals.
This would effectively have shut a lot of people out of appeals, a family of 5 would have faced fees of approaching £10,000 just to regularise their status.
Thankfully the government took the sensible step and withdrew this price hike. This was an enormous relief.
It can be said that the Home Office is seeking to make it harder to regularise status in the UK by increasing fees for applications and withdrawing appeal rights in many areas, also suggesting that appeals can be heard from abroad, an appeal from abroad is going to pose many logistic problems.
It follows that while this proposed rise was withdrawn the government has clearly marked its card as to how it proposes to deal with migrants, make it unattractive if not impossible to come to the UK and legally regularise one’s status.
I would therefore urge anyone who is considering making an application to get on with the making of the application / appeal as soon as possible. Who knows what schemes the government has up its sleeves in order to obtain its goal of achieving the number of migrants down to 10,000s as opposed to the near record highs we are now seeing.
I would urge anyone who wants to address this problem to contact me as soon as possible and if not me another respected immigration lawyer. In my view leaving it will only expose an individual of higher fees and more restrictive laws.
I am currently organising, see future blogs, late evening sessions and weekend appointments to deal with this issue. If you or a family friend has a problem please do not hesitate to contact me as soon as possible to organise a conference to see what can be done and how quickly it can be done in order to save money.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of my dedicated team as soon as possible.