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Waiting time in the immigration tribunal now 83 weeks for some appeals

Waiting time in the immigration tribunal now 83 weeks for some appeals

The latest tribunal statistics, published in March 2017, show that the average waiting time for appeals to be heard in the immigration tribunal is now 48 weeks. This is the time between the appeal being lodged and the appeal being promulgated, I understand.

The breakdown for different types of appeal reveals major disparities between different types of appeal, though, with waiting times for entry clearance appeals — for example for spouses or children applying to join family members in the UK — as high as 83 weeks. That is over a year and a half. With 51% of all entry clearance appeals being allowed in Q3 2016, that is a very considerable impact on a lot people wrongly kept apart by poor quality immigration decisions.


48 weeks


34 weeks

Managed Migration

68 weeks

Entry Clearance Officer

83 weeks

Family Visit Visa

79 weeks

Human Rights

45 weeks

EEA Free Movement

33 weeks

Other (incl deportation and deprivation)

35 weeks

The trend is an upward one, with average waiting times in 2014/15 standing at 29 weeks and in 2015/16 standing at 34 weeks. I have been back through the quarterly statistics to the beginning of 2014 and this is what happens:

Average waiting times for immigration appeals.001.png

The huge waiting times are presumably linked to the reported shortage of immigration judges.

It seems that the immigration tribunal is being starved of funds. I cannot help but think that the huge waiting time which has been contrived is another plank in the broad strategy to making appeals less attractive or useful and thus discourage refused immigration applicants from bringing legal challenges.

Source: Tribunals statistics – GOV.UK

Colin Yeo
Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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