Immigration and Asylum Tribunal Fees to Rise despite Heavy Opposition
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is set to increase court fees for immigration and asylum court cases, despite only five out of 147 consultation responses supporting the move.
For a first tier tribunal case an application for a decision on the papers has gone up from £80 to £490, an application for an oral hearing has risen from £140 to £800 and an application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal has gone from no fee to £455.
For an Upper Tribunal case where there was no cost for an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal and an appeal hearing, they now cost £350 and £510 respectively.
The MoJ said the fees were now set at full cost recovery and would generate £34 million a year.
The exception is those asylum applications that have already been deemed as destitute by the Home Office and therefore won’t have to pay the fees. Exemptions already in place for those on asylum support will continue.
Prior to the introduction of the fees a consultation was held which received 147 responses from law firms, charities and academic institutions on whether they agreed with the fee changes in the First-Tier Tribunal with only five supporting the move. The majority of those who disagreed said the increases would: “deny access to justice for vulnerable people wishing to challenge a decision of the Home Office”.
The MoJ said: “We took the view that, in light of the current financial circumstances, it was no longer justifiable that the taxpayer should be responsible for funding the majority of the costs of administering these cases. That is why we consulted on moving to full cost recovery in those cases where a fee is payable.”