On 10 October 2016, the Government introduced significant increases in court fees for appellants at the First-tier and Upper Tribunals of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber. These were covered in our previous blog post. The fee for appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) was to increase from £140 to £800. It was also proposed to introduce a 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, and a fee of £510 for a hearing in the Upper Tribunal.
These increases were met with significant resistance from court users and today the Government has announced that the increases will be placed on hold pending review. Fees will be reduced back down to pre-increase levels (£140 for an oral appeal hearing at the FtT) and all those who have already lodged appeals and paid the higher fee will be due a refund of the difference. The Government have stressed that this only a temporary measure pending further review and the introduction of secondary legislation to formalise the position, but for just now it is likely very welcome news for anyone who has lodged an appeal since 10 October 2016 and not been fee exempt.