Big increases in immigration tribunal fees
The government has announced large hikes in fees for the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and Upper Tribunal (UT). The increases are detailed in a paper (Cm 9325) released on 15 September 2016 in response to the consultation on the proposals, which ended on 3 June.
While over 140 of the 150 responses to the consultation opposed the rise in fees for the FTT, the government is set to implement the increases it originally suggested of £80 to £490 for a decision on the papers and £140 to £800 for an oral hearing. Fees for applications for appeals to the UT will also be introduced.
Currently, the government recovers £7m in fees for the FTT, which it says costs £75m a year to run. In the response paper, the government says that it does not believe it is reasonable for taxpayers to ‘subsidise access’ to the tribunal. It has agreed that it will continue to exempt fees in some limited circumstances, including when applicants qualify for legal aid or asylum support.