The Capital Building where the UK Visas & Immigration Further Submissions Unit is based
The new Further Submissions process has been deferred to an unspecified future date.
This means that the existing procedure still applies:
· Those whose initial asylum claim was made before 5 March 2007 must submit further representations in person at the Liverpool Further Submissions Unit; and
· Those whose initial asylum claim was made after 5 March 2007 can continue to submit further representations at their local reporting centre.
The news was confirmed in an exchange of letters between the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) and the UKVI. It is still the intention to implement the changes. There may be some exceptions e.g. people who are unable to travel due to a disability or severe illness will be considered to have exceptional circumstances and may be able to make their further submissions by post.
Refugee Action are running a petition against this deliberately obstructive rule change.
Right to Remain have reported: “Of course, for some people, those with older cases, this procedure is not new. People in the Older Live Cases process had to make the trip to Liverpool. A couple of years ago, I was in the office of a community group we work with, as they tried for hours to help someone get an appointment to submit a fresh claim based on a new Country Guidance case. (and I’ve heard similar stories from so many people…)
The Home Office worker taking the call was refusing to arrange an appointment, and just kept saying – no, she’s appeal rights exhausted, has been for years, she can’t possibly have new evidence that wasn’t available before. The applicant was so upset that she could hardly speak. Eventually I helped out, put on my best authoritative voice, quoted some rules and case law, and an appointment was, reluctantly, made. An early morning appointment, hundreds of miles away, meaning the applicant had to travel overnight. And had to get people to pay her fare, and give her food for the journeys as she was destitute. And people had to be found to meet her at the other end to accompany her, as she was so stressed, worried she’d get lost.
She managed it all, somehow, and was granted refugee status after a few months. But the barriers, the gatekeeping were just outrageous. Many others, with perfectly clear and compelling evidence to submit would never had made it through the system. So many just give up, especially those without supporters to help them get through.
So, it looks like the new rules will mean more of this for “customers” of the Home Office. Hopefully we will see a legal challenge. Meanwhile, we had better start gearing up to find ways to support people seeking sanctuary to overcome yet another barrier to justice and safety.”
Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, said he was concerned about the impact of the additional arrivals on council services that are already under extreme stress due to government cuts.
He said: “I am not anti-asylum seekers, you never hear me raising this as an issue – I don’t want anyone to think I’m doing a UKIP.”
“The issue here is one of fairness. It’s absolutely appalling the way this decision has been taken, it is morally and legally indefensible.”
He said he had summoned senior Home Office officials to report to the council. “There has been a total lack of consultation and we simply won’t be bounced or told we have to accept this, without even a conversation.”
“If they do not voluntarily withdraw these proposals I have instructed our lawyers to use every legal means to challenge this decision and demand a stay of execution over its implementation.”