While there is currently no formal timescale for a decision on Fresh Claims, a decision should be made within a ‘reasonable time’. The Court of Appeal held in the case of R (S) v SSHD [2007] that a delay of more than 2.5 years in considering an initial asylum application was unlawful.

In 2007, the High Court indicated that a delay of 6 years waiting for a decision was unlawful. It was revealed that Home Office had a delay of over 400,000 cases unresolved and indicated that the Government has a target catching up with the backlog of cases by 2011.

The High Court’s position is that claims based on delay are only likely to succeed in exceptional circumstances. That is if the delay is so excessive as to be regarded as manifestly unreasonable.

You should write to the Home Office, asking them to make a decision on your application and remind them that you have now been waiting a lengthy period. You should ask them when they will be making a decision on your case. You should give them some time, maybe a month to get back to you.

If, nothing is forthcoming after writing to them, you may want to thing about challenging the delay by way of Judicial Review.

If you are going to make a Judicial Review application, make sure that you first send the Home Office’s legal team known as GLD, a Pre Action Protocol letter letting them know that you have been waiting for a decision on your case for an exceptionally long time. If you feel that your life has been put on hold for the time that you have been waiting for a decision, as everything is tied to receiving a decision in your case, you should also set this out in your letter. You should set out that you will be lodging a Judicial Review application to the Court, if they do not make a decision on your case. By law you must give the GLD 28 days to respond to your letter before making the Judicial Review application.

Possible reasons for making an application for Judicial Review based on delay are that:-

  1. The failure of the Home Office to make a decision is irrational and unreasonable.
  2. If no indication has been given as to when the Home Office is likely to make a decision in your case, then this is arguably an abuse of power.

Click here for information on making a Judicial Review application.

How to Make a Fresh Claim