A recent Home Office blunder meant that a man was refused leave to remain to care for his terminally ill partner.
The Home Office denied O’Neill Wallfall’s application because he could not prove that ‘travelling back to the Iraq would put his life at risk’.
However, Wallfall, as a Jamaican national who had come to the UK in 2002, had never even been to Iraq. This refusal was clearly based on a Home Office employee copy and pasting a reply meant for someone else.
This has attracted some attention, as it is worrying that Home Office officials would be so careless in their work. The error was made toward the end of the refusal letter, in which they had already stated that it was not unreasonable to assume his partner could relocate to Jamaica and receive healthcare there. It was a clear mismatch of information.
We must remember that the Home Office is made up of humans…
…and humans make mistakes! It is well known that the Home Office is regularly understaffed and deal with an extremely high amount of applications. They are given targets to meet and frequently are working in a high pressure environment.
As a law firm dealing with a variety of cases, we are not surprised when we hear of mistakes such as these being made by the Home Office.
However, it does not excuse them and there are options available to people who find themselves being refused for incorrect or unclear reasons.
Can you appeal?
You potentially qualify for an appeal if the Home Office has:
- refused your protection claim (also known as ‘asylum claim’ or ‘humanitarian protection’)
- refused your human rights claim
- made a decision under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations, for example the Home Office has decided to deport you or refused to issue you a residence document
- decided to revoke your protection status
- decided to take away your British citizenship
If you are not informed of your right to an appeal, do not worry. There are still some other options available to you such as administrative reviews and judicial reviews which we will be covering in articles to come.
You have the chance to appeal any decision that the Home Office makes against you. You have 14 days to appeal after the date of your decision.
Applying online is always the quickest option, you can find the relevant documents on this page. If not, you can post or fax your appeal.
Ask for an oral hearing
You can ask on your appeal form for a decision to be made either:
- just on the information in your appeal form and any documents supplied to the tribunal
- at a hearing that you or your representative can attend
The tribunal can decide to have a hearing even if you do not ask for one. You’ll be told if this is the case and invited to attend.
- £80 without a hearing
- £140 with a hearing
How to pay:
You can pay your fee with a credit or debit card when you make your appeal online or by including your details on your appeal form.
If you’ve already made your appeal you can also pay your fee online.
Is your appeal urgent?
You need to write to the tribunal with:
- the reason why your case should be heard urgently
- evidence of compelling or compassionate grounds, for example letters from a doctor or hospital
Your case will be reviewed by a judge, who will then decide whether you should be heard sooner than usual.
If you are confused or just want to have a chat about any of the above please do not hesitate to get in contact with us on 020 7928 0276 or email in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here for you!