As a direct access barrister practising in immigration in London and England and Wales this particular case troubled me greatly. The facts of the case were compelling. The client had been abandoned by her previous solicitors notwithstanding that she lived in Wales and was extremely worried. She had evidence to support her case and in my view it had win written all over it without the need for an appeal.
I, as part of the complete service, I am and my qualified and qualifying team, team offer include attending asylum interviews. This interview took less than 30 minutes and I thought a grant was the likely outcome, no challenging questions were asked and the Appellant was not called a liar or mistaken.
However within a short period of time the application had been rejected with a right of appeal. We appealed and the case came before a panel of Judges. This was unusual for the First Tier Asylum and Immigration Chamber. The appellant was again nervous. I again thought we had won.
This time I was right the appeal was heard on 3 and a positive decision was issued on 9. Less than a week.
The Home Office did not appeal.
I wrote and called and still no Bio metric permit was issued, This caused my client some significant difficulties.
The issue arose, pay money for a pre action letter or wait. My view was that this was clearly a case for a pre action letter. It was sent on Wednesday and on Thursday there was a response to the pap which said, we are sorry we have missed this and will get the Biometric out immediately.
This has saved my client an enormous amount of stress and should finally put a compelling case to rest in their favour.
It goes to show that if the Home Office are not acting quickly there are steps you can take. One of the questions asked of me was would the challenge cause the HO to appeal. I explained that this would amount to or could amount to bad faith. The HO had lost and chosen not to appeal, it was for them, absent any special circumstances. to put into effect not one but two Judges’ decision.
Thankfully this happened.
I would stress that you are not in the position where you must passively wait for the Home Office to act. I have had two cases in the last two weeks where the delay reaches back almost 20 years.
Paul Turner is an experienced and highly regard direct access immigration barrister who is the head of Imperium Chambers , 32 Beford Row, London, WC1R 4HE, 07432 101 211 or 0207 242 3488 and a member of the chambers of Goldsmith Chambers, the Temple the chambers of Tony Metzer QC and who can be contacted 7 days a week for assistance.