UK Visa Appeals – Timelines

UK Immigration Appeals – How long does an appeal take? Some timelines

1.      Applicant submits Appeal – within 28 days from the date that you received the decision

You can do this on-line via the Ministry of Justice Website here

When you have submitted your appeal online you will need to send all your supporting papers (including your Notice of Decision) to the tribunal at:

First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
United Kingdom

Fax to: 00 44 116 249 4232 (The Tribunal recommends that you should only fax when you need to send the documents urgently)

2.      The Tribunals Service will inform the visa section that an appeal has been received by sending a IAFT-11 (receipt) and IAFT-2 form (showing date of receipt at the Tribunals Service) and any accompanying documents by diplomatic post within 28 days of receipt. They will request the visa section to review the decision and, if upheld, to prepare an Appeal Bundle.

Note: because correspondence takes place via the internal postal system, it is likely to take 2 to 4 weeks before a visa section receives forms IAFT11 and IAFT2.

3.      On receipt of the Tribunal’s IAFT forms 11 and 2 at the visa section, an Entry Clearance Manager reviews your application.

If s/he overturns the decision to refuse and decides that a visa can be issued, the visa section must inform the applicant and ask him/her to submit his/her passport for issuing of the visa within 10 working days.

If the ECM upholds the decision to refuse, the visa section prepares an Appeal bundle, which must be despatched to the Tribunal as follows:

  • Within 4 weeks for family visit appeals and non settlement appeals
  • Within 12 weeks for settlement appeals

4.      On receipt of the ECO’s Appeal Bundle, the Tribunal will log your appeal on their systems and schedule a hearing. This can either be an oral hearing, or your appeal will be decided on papers (without an oral hearing). The choice is yours to make and you will have indicated this on your Appeal form. How long does it take for your hearing to be listed? Well, how long is a piece of string? Family visit appeals are usually heard around 28 days from receipt of the ECO’s bundle at the Tribunal. For settlement appeals this is around 56 days. However, some applicants have been waiting much longer.

5.      The Immigration Judge will notify the First Tier tribunal of his/her decision within 10 working days from the hearing. They will then arrange for the decision (the “Determination”) to be sent to yourself and the visa section that decided on your visa application. It can take 4 weeks before the Determination reaches the visa section.

6.      On receipt of their copy of the determination, the visa section has 8 weeks to process it.

In summary, appealing is a lengthy process!

It is therefore best to avoid being refused. Before submitting your visa application, prepare yourself well! Read the official guidance carefully, make sure that you qualify for your choice of visa category, and present your application bundle in a neat, organised manner.

If you do get refused; ensure that you submit your appeal on time! Prepare a neat, organised Appeal Bundle and clearly state why you believe the Entry Clearance Officer’s decision is wrong. Be clear and concise and submit evidence to support your case where appropriate. Remember that before your Appeal is heard by an Immigration Judge in the UK, an Entry Clearance Manager will review your appeal. If the ECM, on the basis of your submission, decides that the ECO was incorrect, you will save valuable time!

Urgent appeals

If there are compelling and/or compassionate reasons which warrant your appeal being brought forward you should put your reasons in writing and send them to the Tribunal.

They will arrange for your reasons and any supporting documentation to be put before a duty judge to decide if your appeal should be heard sooner than usual. It is in your interest to make sure the judge has all the documentation necessary to support your application.

For example, this could be letters from a doctor or a hospital.

You should note that your application will not be considered by a judge before you have paid your appeal fee, unless one is not required in your case.

You should address any correspondence to the President of the First-tier Tribunal clearly marked: REAH The First-Tier Tribunal to:

Office of the Duty Judge
Expedited Appeal Hearing Requests
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
Leicester LE1 6ZX
Fax: 01509 221403 or 0044 1509 221 403 if you are faxing from overseas.

How can I check the progress of my appeal?

To find out about the progress of an appeal, or for more information about the appeals system, contact:

First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 7866
United Kingdom
LE11 2XZ

Phone: (+44) (0)845 600 0877
Fax: (+44) (0)1509 221403


Separate Appeal related pages on the website:

Why does it take so long before I get my visa after an appeal? Please click here


Do I have the right of appeal? Please click here

Remember, immigration law is complex and subject to continuous change. The information provided here may be out of date, or just based on personal experience/knowledge. The use of these pages is therefore entirely at your own risk. Before applying for any type of visas, you should always seek information from the authorities direct via their official websites. You will find some useful website details on our Links page.

This entry was posted in Time involved with appeals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to UK Visa Appeals – Timelines

  1. sj says:

    Hello, all your reply are priceless and thanks for guiding us in a very nice way, Basically i just got a very simple question for you, as i had applied for my spouse visa and was rejected due to couple of reasons, but i have appealed against their decision and with grace of God during the appeal process the Entry Clearance Manager overturned the original decision and the British High Commission send me a letter to submit my passport, which i did and they revert back that i will receive the same in another 4 to 5 weeks, now my question is that i am still awaiting for my passport and this is the 4th week, so i am just worried that stamping visa is just a couple of minutes process and don`t know why they taking that long time and hopefully they should not raise any issue again ….hopefully all goes well and Good luck to everyone 🙂

    • Dear SJ,

      Thanks for visiting our blog! First of all, our congratulations on the successful outcome of your appeal. Fantastic news! If you’ve received confirmation from the BHC that the refusal decision was overturned, and you have received a call letter (i.e. you were requested to submit your passport), there is no need to worry. Unless there’s something wrong with your passport, the BHC won’t raise any further issues. I don’t know of course where you submitted your application but whilst printing and affixing the actual visa sticker shouldn’t take much time anywhere, there is, in this day and age of hubs, spokes and commercial partners, a lot of to-ing and fro-ing going on behind the scenes before your passport actually finds its way back to you. Unfortunately, this takes time. At some Posts a few days, at others, unfortunately, several weeks. If the High Commission advised you that it’ll take 4 to 5 weeks, I’d shoot off a quick e-mail to them if you haven’t received it back by then.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  2. EvAn.cY says:

    Hi, the information you provided is very helpful. I just submitted an appeal for my extension for tier-4 general student visa in UK. They refused my visa because of my maintenance. However I indeed have enough fund to support my visa application which is a solid evidence in my bank stament. I submitted my appeal with all the supported documents via fax on 14th Jan 2013.

    But it has been 2 weeks and I haven’t heard anything about whether my appeal is logged or not. I also check my bank account and it doesn’t show they have taken the money for the appeal. I tried to call them but they said they cannot provide any information about the process of appeal submitted later than 7th December 2012.

    Is that because they won’t charge the appeal fee until the ECM has reviewed the appeal? And I won’t be noticed until the ECM has made the decision whether they overturn their previous decision or not? It is worrying me quite a lot and I want to make sure they received my appeal documents and my appeal is being dealt with.

    Thank you.

    • Dear EvAn.cY,

      Thanks for stopping by. You write that you submitted an appeal for extension of your Tier 4 general student visa in the UK, that this was refused, and that you despatched your appeal against this decision by fax on 14th Jan 2013. I take it that this is therefore an in-country appeal. The delay cannot be due to an ECM review; ECM reviews take place in initial, overseas visa refusal cases only. It doesn’t apply to in-county appeals.

      You write that you have since contacted the Tribunal but that they told you that they cannot provide any information. I am, unfortunately, unaware of why this is. If I were you, I’d most definitely contact them again to make sure that your appeal was received. Please remember to keep your fax confirmation report, which you can use as evidence that you submitted your appeal in time (in case the tribunal were to claim that they never received it). As I say, I’d definitely contact them again. If you phone them, keep a record of the name of the person you spoke to, and the date and time. Follow it up in writing, so that you also have written confirmation (should this be required). As you will undoubtedly be aware, their contact details can be found on their website.

      Wishing you the best of luck with your appeal,

      Kind regards,

  3. Zeegee says:


    My visit visa got refused. We appealed against the decision on 30 nov 2012 at first tier tribunal. We requested for expedition of our case because of certain medical reasons and faxed documents. We received acknowledgment that the duty judge will review our case, I received the notice of pending appeal on 7 dec 2012. But we have no idea if the judge at tribunal has put forward our expedition request to ECM as well or not?

    I need to know if there is anyway we can expedite the process at this stage. My appeal case is at Islamabad embassy for review.

    And can please guide what exactly is meant by notice of pending appeal? Does it mean that the tribunal judge is in our favour?


    • Zeegee says:

      **Notice of pending appeal recieved on 7 jan 2013**

    • Dear Zeegee,

      Thanks for stopping by. A notice of pending appeal does not mean that the judge is in your favour. Instead, the notice is confirmation that the tribunal has received your appeal, that it has been logged onto their systems, and that the tribunal has requested the “respondent” (i.e. the ECO) to forward the evidence on which he or she has based his/her refusal decision. The latter is often referred to as the “Appeal Bundle” and basically consists of the documents that you submitted in support of your application as well as an ECM Appeal Review Statement. What will happen first is that an ECM will review the ECO’s decision to refuse your application. If he/she feels that the decision can be overturned, s/he will not prepare a Bundle but will contact you in stead to advise you that a visa can now be issued. If he/she upholds the ECO decision, he/she will write the Appeal Review Statement, the Bundle will be prepared and despatched to the Tribunal for receipt by the date on your notice of pending appeal. As for the latter, on your Notice, you will see a date. This is not the hearing date for your appeal but the date by which the Embassy/HC should have submitted the Appeal Bundle to the tribunal.

      I understand that you applied to the tribunal to have your appeal expedited. This means that, if the duty judge agrees that there are strong compelling compassionate circumstances, the hearing date will be brought forward. The tribunal will inform you in writing of whether or not it agrees that the hearing date may be brought forward. If the tribunal agrees, this does not mean that the ECM will have less time to review your application and despatch the Bundle to the UK. A request to expedite a hearing date, if honoured, means that your hearing date will be listed out of turn (i.e. that it will be heard sooner).

      You write that you applied for a visit visa. I assume that this is a family visit visa. For family visit appeals, the visa section has 20 working days to review the decision and send the Bundle to the tribunal. In any case, it must be despatched by the date in your notice. I’m afraid that it is difficult to expedite this side of the process (i.e. ECM review and preparation of the bundle). Your sponsor could approach his/her MP and request that he/she writes to UKBA’s MP correspondence unit on your behalf but practice shows that this does not always guarantee that the review/preparation of bundle will indeed be expedited. But you could try, if you so wish.

      I am sure that you will already have this information but, just in case, to check the progress of an appeal, you can contact the tribunal; Phone: (+44) (0)845 600 0877, Fax: (+44) (0)1509 221403, Email:

      Hope this helps,

      Kind regards,

  4. Jeb Kap says:

    Hi There

    The above Information is absolutely priceless . . Thank you very much . .

    My wife’s visa got refused because:

    I did not provide a surveyors report for the house even though I had a tenancy agreement and a letter from the landlord,

    the employment letter did not say full time and permanent even though i provided 6 months payslips and bank statement – my salary is above the requirement!

    and although we provided ESOL certificate they want the entry letter to the exams as well!!

    All very frustrating – I have provided all the evidence with the appeal . .

    Wondering whether it was better just to resubmit the application rather than appeal . . .

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for the above . . because nobody seems to know – and I hope nobody wiill make mistakes I made . . . especially the ones about the employment letter and ESOL exam entry letter

    • Dear Mr Kap,

      Thank you for stopping by, and for your feedback. I wish you and your wife every success with her appeal. I don’t know if you are aware of this but, should you still wish to re-apply, this is of course possible. There is nothing in UK law to prevent an applicant from re-applying pending an outstanding appeal (caseworker instruction APL 1.20, which can be found here refers).

      Kind regards, and once again our thanks for your feedback,

  5. Michael says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for your informative post. I am in the midst of a settlement appeal and Ian wondering- if the ECM decides to overturn the refusal, would I be contacted by post or by email? I worry that if I am traveling at the time I won’t receive the post in time to return my passport within the 10 day period. Thanks!

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for stopping by and for the feedback. If your refusal is overturned on ECM review, they will contact you either in writing or by e-mail. Which of the two depends on the Embassy/High Commission that took the decision. In other words, there is no standard process for this. If you’re worried, I’d send them a quick e-mail to inform them that, in view of your travels, you will only be contactable via e-mail.

      Hope this helps, and hope that they will reverse the decision!

  6. Penny Fernandes says:

    Thank you very much for the information that this site contains. It is so much easier to follow than the official website. My husband’s appeal is on-going but by following the guidelines you propose I am now confident of a positive outcome. Thank you once again

    • Dear Ms Fernandes,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to provide feedback. It is much appreciated. I am happy that you found the information in these pages useful, and I wish you and your husband a successful outcome of his appeal!

      Kind regards,

  7. Abiola Paul says:

    How do I know if I have to pay for my appeal?

    I applied for a visa and was refuesd, But I am not sure if I have to pay for the appeal.

    I would like to know because in the article about visa appeals; says your case won’t be dealt with unless a fee has been paid paid first, Or if you don’t have to pay it should be ok and the hearing will go ahead with my case.

    Please can you advise me or help me find out.

    Miss A paul

    • Dear Miss Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by. You can check whether or not appeal processing fees are payable on the Ministry of Justice website. Please click on the link below, which will take you to the Fees Guidance Document on the Ministry of Justice website. I am of course unaware of what type of visa you applied for. But if this was, for example, a visit visa, settlement visa or an EEA Family Permit application, you will have to pay the fee. Details of how to go about paying the fee can also be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      • Mrs Anderson says:

        Hi my husband is Jamaican and I am British we failed lower and Higher appeal, we appealed again to the higher appeal and the homeoffice wanted to know why I could not live in JA. At the next hearing the judge finally allowed it and we are now waiting for his Spouse Visa, I had a good job at the start, but because of the stress I had to stop work, they allowed ours on S8 a right to have a family life. I had to proove once I was well I could work as I am currently on tax creds and Incapacity bens, My husband has also got a job offer, I was also lucky to have a brilliant legal aid solicitor. It took 2 years in all and hopefully my hubbie will be back with me soon, Good luck all

        • Dear Mrs Anderson,

          Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your story with our readers. It is much appreciated! Your story once again confirms that appealing the decision helps. In 2011, UKBA received 79,893 appeals against visa refusals. Of these, 26,205 were still outstanding as at 31st August 2012. But of the appeals processed, 46% (nearly half!) were allowed by the Immigration Judge.

          I hope that your husband’s visa will now be issued soon and that you will soon be reunited!

          Kind regards,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s