An increase of more than 500% is being proposed on immigration appeal fees by the government making the immigration tribunal the only part of the court system solely funded by fees.

MP Dominic Raab, from the Ministry for Justice, wants to increase fees in the First-Tier Tribunal from £80 to £490 for an application for a decision on the papers and from £140 to £800 for an application for an oral hearing.

He is also proposing the introduction of a new fee of £455 for an application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

A fee of £350 for an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal, where permission has been refused by the First-tier Tribunal, and a fee of £510 for an appeal hearing where permission is granted is also outlined in the proposal.

The government admits that these new fees will largely affect Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, according to its equality statement in association with these proposals, but said: “the Government believes this is justifiable.”  The statement adds that there would be a: “number of exemptions to help protect access to justice for the most vulnerable.”

Some of the exemptions included in this proposal are those who qualify for legal aid or asylum support, those children bringing appeals to the tribunal and the parents of children receiving local authority support.

Mr Raab said the move would likely generate an extra £37 million a year which is: “a critical contribution to cutting the deficit and reducing the burden on the taxpayer of running the courts and tribunals.”

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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