Dealing with delays from the Home Office reaching a decision on your Immigration Application?
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Office has sought to justify several reasons that delays in decision-making have arose. However, despite these reasons, whether it be a direct cause of Covid-19 and the consequences of Brexit; or simply because of the volume of applications received due to the development of the new immigration system, each applicant has the right for their decision to be dealt with in a fair and lawful manner.
In normal circumstances, an immigration application that is submitted to the Home Office is provided with a service standard and now the Home Office is notifying applicants of delays beyond the normal service standard.
Applications can be delayed for various reasons which can cause the applicant several issues as to their right to work, private life (causing strain and financial implications to the applicant) which are subject to the Immigration Rules and Human Rights Act that is applicable to the applicant’s circumstances.
The following steps can be considered to avoid endless delays and to help with the acceleration of a decision being made from the Home Office.
- Contact the Home Office
An applicant can either write or call the Home Office regarding the status of their immigration application and request what is the most-likely timescale for a decision to be made.
If the applicant has not provided this information upon the status of their application, one should illustrate how this is affecting their current circumstances, for example, the delay in an application may cause restrictions to a person seeking to travel, access to education, right to work.
- Contact your Local MP
Should a decision still not be reached, contacting their Local MP may influence in expediting the matter further as MP’s have a significant influence within government departments (such as the Home Office). This may influence the Home Office to make a decision promptly as the MP can provide credential details in clarifying the applicant’s case which can be beneficial in the processing of their application.
- Make a formal written complaint
If no decision is reached when contacting the Home Office in light of the above, the next step would be to write a formal complaint to Home Office issuing the concerns that there may be from the delays and the effect to the applicant. When making a formal complaint, one would need to include all correspondences to the Home Office and include points from the initial application and rules of law as to why an application should be considered and how the delays have caused a significant impact, specifying how this should be resolved in due course.
- Issue a Pre-Action Protocol (PAP)
Should the Home Office not respond within 21 days of the complaint, then a Pre-Action Protocol Letter (otherwise known as PAP) can be submitted to the Home Office stipulating the matter to be resolved in due course to avoid court proceedings. This step is something an individual would want to avoid. Thus, independent legal advice must be sought accordingly.
- Applying for a Judicial Review
The final option is to then lodge an application for judicial review should all that is mentioned above fail. This is something an individual must be prepared for when having issues due to the delays from the Home Office or any other reason such as appeals. Applying for judicial review against the Home Office must be reasonably identifiable, in that the actions of the Home Office causing such delays are unlawful and unfair. Thus, such measures are taken in order to gain an adequate result. Again, independent legal advice must be sought.
If you are in need of any assistance regarding the status of your immigration application, please contact Aristone Solicitors for expert advice from our Immigration Solicitors.