Government backs down on fee increase for now and will review
The Government will review the level of fee increased which was introduced recently, while it is under review the fees at previous levels will apply and make refunds to applicants who have paid the increased fees.
Minister of State for Courts and Justice, Oliver Heald stated that immigration and asylum fees have been reviewed to the balance the interests of all tribunal users, the taxpayer and to compare them with the other tribunal fees and in the wider context of funding for the system overall. All applicants will be charged fees at previous levels.
Alongside the fee changes introduced the fee exemptions were extended offering in the First-tier Tribunal the following:
- those in receipt of a Home Office destitution waiver in respect of their initial application;
- parents of, and those with parental responsibility for, children receiving support from local authorities;
- children in local authority care; and
- those appealing a decision to revoke their humanitarian protection or refugee status.
It is believed that these changes are reasonable and safeguard majority of vulnerable users of the Tribunal. Therefore, the amended procedure of fee exemptions will remain.
Additionally, the purpose of fees in the Upper Tribunal will be re-examined, and new proposals for Tribunal fees will be brought forward including in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in due course.